Lucchese to defend Pacific Coast Open title

Lucchese to defend Bombardier Pacific
Coast Open against ERG

By Alex Webbe

Lucchese (Tavi Usandizaga, Andres Weisz, Pelon Stirling and
John Muse) scored the win of the season with their 12-9 toppling of a powerful
Restoration Hardware team (Ben Soleimani, Adam Snow, Hilario Ulloa and Santi
Von Wernich) in Thursday afternoon’s 12-9 upset victory in the semifinals of
the 2013 Bombardier Pacific Coast Open finals at California’s Santa Barbara
Polo Club.

Lucchese carried a less than impressive 1-2 record onto the
field, and got off to a sticky start as they trailed 6-4 at the end of the
first half before rallying to score the 12-9 win and earn a berth in Sunday’s

Restoration Hardware’s Hilario Ulloa scored the first two
goals of the game, one on a penalty conversion and the other from the field for
a 2-0 start.  Lucchese 10-goaler Pelon
Stirling kept his team from being blanked by scoring a goal from the field for
a 2-1 first chukker deficit.

The two teams swapped goals in the second with Ulloa and Ben
Soleimani extending the Restoration Hardware lead to three goals, 4-1.  Andres Weisz and Tavi Usandizaga closed out
the chukker with single goals.  The
Restoration Hardware lead remained at one goal, 4-3.

A pair of third chukker goals from Ulloa (one on a 60-yard
penalty conversion) was countered by a single goal from Stirling.  At the end of the first half Restoration
Hardware was sitting on a two goal lead, 6-4.

Restoration Hardware extended their lead to three goals in
the fourth.  Ulloa scored one goal from
the field and converted a 40-yard penalty shot while teammate Santi Von Wernich
scored his first goal of the game. 
Lucchese answered back with single goals from Usandizaga and Weisz.  The Restoration Hardware lead was three
goals, 9-6 with two chukkers left in regulation play.

Lucchese exploded in the fifth with Weisz scoring his third
goal of the game to cut the Restoration Hardware lead to two goals, 9-7.  Usandizaga added another goal from the field,
9-8, and Stirling tied it up on a 40-yard penalty conversion.  Usandizaga’s second goal of the chukker gave
Lucchese their first lead of the game, 10-9 while a disciplined defensive
effort kept Restoration Hardware off of the scoreboard for the first time all

For the second consecutive chukker the Lucchese defense
prevailed, blanking Restoration Hardware for the second consecutive
chukker.  Single goals from Stirling and
Usandizaga ended the game with Lucchese earning an exciting 12-9 game and a
return to the Bombardier Pacific coast Open finals.

Usandizaga was credited with a team high five goals.  Stirling added four goals and Weisz scored
three times in the win.  Ulloa’s seven
goals led all scoring, but were wasted in a loss.  Soleimani and Von Wernich each accounted for
a goal in a losing effort.


La Herradura (Alberto Fernandez, Marianito Obregon, Memo
Gracida and Carlos Gracida) look to everyone on the scene to be in control of
the second semifinal game with ERG (Scott Woods, Sugar Erskine, Paco de Narvaez
and Jeff Blake) as they rode out to a 6-4 halftime lead, but a fatal fifth
period ended any hopes they had of scoring a second consecutive win over ERG
and making it to the Pacific Coast Open finals.

Jeff Blake scored the first goal of the game for ERG, but La
Herradura returned fire with a pair of goals from former 10-goaler Carlos
Gracida.  After the first seven minutes
of play La Herradura held the early 2-1 lead.

La Herradura extended their lead to two goals in the second
period on a penalty conversion from Carlos Gracida, 3-1.  De Narvaez and Blake scored single goals to
tie it up at 3-3 at the end of the chukker.

Carlos Gracida added three more goals in the third (one on a
penalty conversion) while holding ERG to a single goal from de Narvaez.  The La Herradura lead stood at two goals, 6-4
as the first half ended.

Goals from the field from Marianito Obregon and Carlos
Gracida were answered by penalty goals from Blake and de Narvaez.  La Herradura remained two goals in the lead,
8-6, with two chukkers left to play. 

ERG stormed the field in the fifth, outscoring La Herradura
4-1 and taking the lead, 10-9.  Single
goals from Erskine and Blake and two from de Narvaez had ERG in front by two
goals, 10-8.  Carlos Gracida closed out
the chukker with a penalty goal but La Herradura trailed for the first time
first time all day, 10-9.

La Herradura fought to get back into the game in the sixth
but ERG would have none of it.  A goal
from de Narvaez was followed by a goal from Erskine as ERG stretched their lead
to three goals, 12-9.  Carlos Gracida
scored the final goal of the game, but it wasn’t enough as Erg registered the
12-10 win and a trip to Sunday’s finals to meet the defending championship
Lucchese team.

Carlos Gracida led all scoring with nine goals (three on
penalty shots).  Obregon scored
once.  ERG got six goals from de Narvaez
(two on penalty shots).  Blake scored
four times and Erskine added two goals for the 12-10 victory.