Las Monjitas and Lechuza in Les Armour final
By Alex Webbe
After nine tied scores and five lead changes, Facundo Sola broke loose to score the winning goal in overtime as Las Monjitas (Segundo Merlos, Facundo Sola, Eduardo Novillo Astrada and Sebastian Merlos) defeated a talented FlexJet team (Melissa Ganzi, Gonzalito Pieres, Miguel Novillo Astrada and Nic Roldan) in the semifinals of the Les Armour Cup Thursday morning at the International Polo Club.
Gonzalito Pieres scored the opening goal of the chukker on a 30-yard penalty conversion for the 1-0 lead. Las Monjitas tied it up a minute later when FlexJet committed a foul in their own goal mouth. A Penalty 1 was assessed and Las Monjitas was awarded a goal, 1-1. Just two minutes later FlexJet was fouled in the Las Monjitas goal mouth, a Penalty 1 was assessed and they were awarded a goal, 2-1. Sebastian Merlos tied it at 2-2 with 2:16 left in the chukker. With less than a minute in the period, Melissa Ganzi scored on a long pass from Nic Roldan. After the first chukker of play, FlexJet rode off the field with a 3-2 edge over Las Monjitas.
Facundo Sola opened the second chukker with a 40-yard penalty conversion that tie d the score at 3-3. Sola followed it up with a goal from the field that put Las Monjitas in the lead, 4-3. Gonzalito Pieres tied it at 4-4 with a 40-yard penalty goal in the final minute of the period.
Pieres opened the third period with another 40-yard penalty shot for a goal and a one goal FlexJet lead, 5-4. Las Monjitas responded with three straight penalty goals from Sebastian Merlos for a two goal 7-5 advantage. Ganzi cut the lead back to a single goal, 7-6, with her second goal of the day. Sola scored the final goal of the first half with 15 seconds on the clock for an 8-6 lead.
Goals from Pieres (penalty goal) and Miguel Novillo Astrada were supported by shutout FlexJet defense. At the end of the fourth chukker it was all even at 8-8.
The two sides exchanged goals in the fifth with Segundo Merlos and Eduardo Novillo Astrada scoring goals for Las Monjitas while Flex jet got goals from Miguel Novillo Astrada and Nic Roldan for a 10-10 deadlock.
Three minutes into the sixth chukker, Sola scored to put Las Monjitas on top by a single goal, 11-10. Roldan tied it seconds later on a pass from the ensuing throw-in and an 11-11 tie.
After a brief intermission, both teams returned to the field. A run this way, a backhand that and in the blink of an eye, Sola was off with the ball, scoring the winning score for Las Monjitas less than a minute into the overtime.
Sola led the field with a game high five goals. Sebastian Merlos added four goals; Segundo Merlos and Eduardo Novillo Astrada scored once each and the team received a goal on a Penalty 1. Pieres led the FlexJet attack with four goals. Ganzi, Miguel Novillo Astrada and Roldan added single goals and the team was awarded a goal on a Penalty 1.
Lechuza downs Coca-Cola 9-8 in the semifinals.
In the second semifinal of the day for the Les Armour Cup, Coca-Cola (Gillian Johnston, Pelon Stirling, Julio Arellano and Sugar Erskine) took the early lead over Lechuza Caracas (Victor Vargas, Nico Pieres, Juan Martin Nero and Agustin Garcia Grossi) in a slow starting opening chukker on a goal from Pelon Stirling in a 1-0 chukker.
Victor Vargas got his Lechuza team on the scoreboard in second period action, but Julio Arellano responded with four goals for Coca-Cola (two on penalty conversions) to take an early 5-1 lead.
Arellano’s fifth goal of the game opened the third period, with Vargas answering back with his second goal for Lechuza in a 6-2 first half.
Lechuza came alive in the fourth chukker. A goal from the field from 10-goaler Juan Martin Nero and two goals from Nico Pieres (one on a penalty shot) were countered with a single goal from Coca-Cola team captain Gillian Johnston. Lechuza had cut the lead down to a manageable two goals, 7-5, with two chukkers to play.
Pieres came through with a pair of goals for Lechuza in the fifth chukker that tied the game at 7-7, but Coca-Cola fought back. Arellano added his sixth goal of the day, keeping Coca-Cola on top of an 8-7 score.
Lechuza dominated the final chukker of the game. Two more goals from Pieres (one on a penalty shot) were complimented with a disciplined defense that held Coca-Cola scoreless as Lechuza rallied to take the game by the narrow one goal margin, 9-8.
Pieres led the Lechuza attack with six goals (two on penalty shots). Vargas scored twice and Nero added a goal for the win. Arellano scored six goals (two on penalty conversions) for Coca-Cola. Stirling and Johnston added single goals in a losing effort.
The Lechuza win sets the stage for Sunday’s noon Les Armour Cup final between Las Monjitas and Lechuza.