USPA Piaget Silver Cup opens with three games

USPA Piaget Silver Cup opens with
three games

By Alex Webbe

Carlos Gracida scored seven times in leading La Herradura
(Alvaro Fernandez, Marianito Obregon, Carlos Gracida and Memo Gracida) to an
11-10 win over FMB (Dan Walker, Inaki Laprida, Lucas Criado and Henry Walker)
in the opening match of Santa Barbara Polo Club’s USPA Piaget Silver Cup Friday
morning on the Piocho Ranch field.

Carlos Gracida scored the first goal of the game on a
60-yard penalty shot, but FMB stormed back with a pair of goals from Lucas
Criado.  After the first chukker the
score stood at 2-1 in favor of FMB.

Carlos Gracida scored on a 30-yard penalty shot in the
second, but that would be the last effective offense they would deliver in the
chukker.  Ensuing goals from Inaki
Laprida and Criado ended the period with FMB holding a two goal advantage, 4-2.

Marianito Obregon finally got on the scoreboard in the third
chukker followed by a goal from Carlos Gracida that tied it at 4-4.  The tie was short-lived, however, as FMB
rresponded with a pair of goals from Criado (one on a penalty shot).  The first half came to an end with FMB
holding on to a 6-4 advantage.

La Herradura got the benefit of a halftime talking to by
Hall of Famer Memo Gracida, and their actions showed it when they returned to
the field.  La Herradura scored five
unanswered goals in the chukker for their first lead since the opening goal,
9-6.  Four goals (two on penalty
conversions) came from Carlos Gracida. 
His older brother Memo Gracida scored the final goal of the period.

Memo Gracida’s second goal of the game put La Herradura in
front, 10-6 as the fifth chukker opened. 
FMB responded with a pair of goals (one on a penalty shot), cutting the
La Herradura lead to two goals, 10-8.

Obregon’s second goal of the game gave them a three goals
lead, 11-8 in the final chukker.  FMB
pressed their attack, picking up single goals from Laprida and Criado but time
ran out and La Herradura left the field with the 11-10 win.

Criado led the field in scoring with eight goals (three on
penalty shots).  Laprida added two goals
in the loss.  Carlos Gracida was credited
with seven goals for La Herradura.  Memo
Gracida and Obregon scored two goals apiece in the victory.


ERG (Scott Wood, Sugar Erskine, Jeff Blake and Paco De
Narvaez) battled to a 7-6 halftime lead before scoring a 13-10 win over the
defending Silver Cup championship team, Lucchese (Andres Weisz, Tavi
Usandizaga, Pelon Stirling and John Muse) Friday afternoon at the ERG

ERG’s Jeff Blake scored the first goal of the game on a
40-yard penalty shot that was followed by a goal from the field from Lucchese
10-goaler Pelon Stirling, 1-1.  A pair of
goals from Sugar Erskine gave the lead back to 
ERG, 3-1.   Stirling scored the
final goal of the period but continued to trail, 3-2.

Shutout defense work by Lucchese in the second chukker was
complimented by single goals from Andres Weisz and Tavi Usandizaga.  The period ended with Lucchese on top, 4-3.

Six goals were scored between the two teams in the third,
with all but one coming on penalty goals. 
Paco De Narvaez scored on a 60-yard penalty conversion and two 40-yard
goal shots.  Erskine added the fourth
goal of the chukker as ERG took the lead back, 7-6.  Lucchese got a pair of penalty goals from Stirling.

Both teams took a defensive stance in the fourth
period.  Stirling scored Lucchese’s only
goal of the chukker.  Blake countered
with a single goal from ERG.  At the end
of the fourth chukker, ERG was in front, 8-7.

A four goal fifth chukker closed the door on Lucchese with
Erskine and Blake each scoring twice. 
Stirling scored the only goal of the fifth.  Lucchese trailed by four goals, 12-8.

Erskine converted a penalty shot for ERG in the sixth.  Stirling scored the final two goals of the
match for the 13-10 ERG victory.

Stirling scored eight goals on the day.  Usandizaga and Weisz each scored a goal as
they rode out the loss.   ERG got six
goals from Erskine.  Blake scored four
times and de Narvaez accounted for three goals, all on penalty shots.


Restoration Hardware (Ben Soleimani, Hilario Ulloa, Adam
Snow and Santi Von Wernich) gave a warm welcome to Scott Devon and his
Catamount team Catamount (Scott Devon, Julio Gracida, Mike Azzaro and Brandon
Phillips) before pummeling them 14-10 for the win. 

Restoration Hardware had to spot the 19-goal Catamount a
goal by handicap, but tied it up on the opening shot of the tournament,
1-1.  Restoration Hardware team captain
Ben Soleimani gave his team the lead with the second goal of the chukker.  Another goal by  Ulloa was followed by a pair of goals from Mike
Azzaro and the chukker ended with Restoration Hardware and Catamount all even
at 3-3. 

Brandon Phillips scored his first goal of the day in the
second chukker as Catamount took the lead, 4-3. 
Three straight goals from Restoration Hardware put a damper on the day
for Catamount, 6-4.  Mike Azzaro scored
the final goal of the chukker, but Restoration Hardware held the one goal lead,

Goals from Soleimani and Santi Von Wernich pushed Catamount
(Scott Devon, Julio Gracida, Mike Azzaro and Brandon Phillips) in front by
three goals, 8-5.  Julio Gracida and Von
Wernich traded goals at the end of the chukker for the 9-6 halftime lead.

Restoration Hardware extended their lead to 11-7 on single
goals from Soleimani and Ulloa.  Phillips
produced the only goal of the day for Catamount who fell behind, 11-7.

Snow and Ulloa scored for Restoration
Hardware in the fifth while Catamount was only able to come up with a single
goal from Catamount team captain Scott Devon. 
At the end of the fifth chukker, Catamount trailed by five goals, 13-8.

Snow’s third goal of the game put Restoration
Hardware on top, 14-8 as a bedraggled Catamount team continued to try to mount
an effective rally.   A penalty conversion from Phillips and a goal
from the field from Julio Gracida ended the game with Restoration Hardware
celebrating the 14-10 win.

In a balanced Restoration Hardware
attack, Ulloa recorded five goals (one on a penalty shot); Soleimani scored
four times; Snow accounted for three goals and Von Wernich added a pair in the
loss.  Phillips and Azzaro each scored
three times.  Devon added a goal and the team
received one goal by handicap.

Tournament play continues on
Sunday, August 4th with a 10 am game between Restoration Hardware (1-0)
and Lucchese (0-1).  At 1PM, La Herradura
(1-0) will take on Catamount (0-1) while ERG (1-0 and FMB (0-1) will face off
at 3PM.