Piaget to meet Lucchese in Open finals
By Alex Webbe
Piaget upset previously unbeaten Audi 15-10 Thursdayafternoon to earn a berth in the finals of the 2011 Bombardier Pacific CoastOpen at the Santa Barbara Polo Club.
Piaget wasted little time picking up two goals fromMiguel Astrada and a single goal from Jason Crowder to move out to an early 3-0start. Two penalty goals from GonzalitoPieres got Audi back on track, but it was Piaget that was leaving the field witha 3-2 advantage.
Crowder added three more goals in the second (two onpenalty shots, one from the field). Pierescame back with a pair of penalty goals for Audi and at the end of two chukkersPiaget extended its lead to two goals, 6-4.
Astrada and Juan Bollini ran the score to 8-4,Piaget. Pieres converted a penalty shotto end the first half as Audi trailed at the end of the first half, 8-5.
Astrada opened the fourth chukker with a 60-yard penaltyconversion for a goal. Carlitos Gracidaresponded for Audi with a goal from the field. Consecutive penalty goals from Carlos Gracida brought Audi to within agoal of Piaget, 9-8, but Astradaâ€™s fifth goal of the contest left Piaget with a10-8, two goal advantage with two chukkers left to play.
The fifth chukker belonged to Piaget with Bollini openingthe period with a goal from the field. Two goals from Crowder were complimented by shutout defense and Piagetfound itself on top of a 13-8 score.
Sixth chukker goals from Carlitos Gracida and Pieres wereoffset by Crowderâ€™s seventh and eighth goals and Piaget celebrated the 15-10victory and an appointment with Lucchese in the finals of the 2011 BombardierPacific Coast Open.
LUCCHESE16, ERG 15
Earlier in the day the 2010 Pacific coast Open defendingchampionship Lucchese team jumped out to a 9-6 halftime lead before holding onto beat ERG 16-15 to earn a return to the Pacific Coast Open finals.
Sebastian Merlos converted a pair of 40-yard penaltyshots to give ERG an early 2-0 lead. Adolfo Cambiaso and Jeff Blake responded with penalty goals of their ownfor a 2-2 tie. Merlos came back with agoal from the field for ERG with Julio scoring the final goal of the chukkerfor a 3-3 tie.
Second chukker goals from Gracida and Cambiaso putLucchese in front, 5-3. Merlos scoredthe final goal of the period, but ERG trailed 5-4.
Paco de Narvaez tied it up for ERG with a goal from thefield to open the third chukker. Jeff Blakeconverted two penalty goals for Lucchese followed by field goals from Cambiasoand Gracida. De Narvaez closed out thescoring with his second goal of the chukker and the first half ended withLucchese leading by three goals, 9-6.
De Narvaez and Cambiaso exchanged goals in thefourth. Gracida converted a penalty shotto give Lucchese an 11-7 lead. ERGscored three consecutive goals to trail 11-10, but a final penalty goal from Blakeended the period with Lucchese holding on to a 12-10, two goal lead.
Miguelito Torres scored two goals in the fifth for ERG,but a goal from Gracida kept Lucchese in front, 13-12. Gracida and Cambiaso added single goals andthe fifth chukker left Lucchese in front, 15-12.
ERG won the final chukker, 3-1, but that isnâ€™t how thegame is played. With a three goal lead,Lucchese gave up a goal to de Narvaez before answering with a goal fromCambiaso. Two final goals from Merlosbrought ERG close, but when the final horn sounded it was Lucchese with the16-15 win.
Merlos led all scoring with seven goals. De Narvaez added six goals and Torresaccounted for two in the loss.
Gracida and Cambiaso scored six goals apiece for Lucchese. Blake added four goals in a winning effort.
The victory returns John Museâ€™s Lucchese team to theBombardier Pacific Coast Open finals on Sunday where they will meet Piaget.