Zacara strong-arms the Wanderers in 13-10 win
By Alex Webbe
Zacara rode onto the Piaget Field at the International Polo Club just a week after winning the 2010 Joe Barry memorial Cup with an exciting 13-1 win over the Hawks and couldnâ€™t look much better. After scoring a 12-5 Ylvisaker Cup win over Bendabout just four days earlier, the English sponsored team scored a decisive win over a previously undefeated Wanderers/Isla Carrol (2-1) foursome to earn a 2-0 record in the seasonâ€™s third 20-goal tournament.
â€œI felt like we were cruisinâ€™,â€ said Zacara 7-goaler Jeff Hall. â€œWe just tried to play basic, classic polo,â€ he added. â€œWe did, and it paid off for us.â€
The score was tied at the end of the first chukker (2-2) and at the end of the second (3-3), but Hall never felt that they (Zacara) didnâ€™t control the game.
â€œWe played really hard in the third chukker,â€ offered Hall. â€œWe scored five or six goals and then cruised from there on.â€
Goals from Zacara team captain Lyndon Lea and Hall opened the third period before Nacho Figueras scored for the Wanderers. Gonzalo del Tour responded with a goal for Zacara followed two more goals from Hall.
The first half ended with Zacara up by four goals and the Wanderers scrambling to stay in the game. Single goals from Lea and Hall in the fourth chukker were countered by a single penalty conversion by the Wanderersâ€™ Kris Kampsen, but Zacara continued to lead, 10-5. Goals from the field in the fifth by Lea and Toto Collardin were answered with a pair of penalty goals from Kampsen, but the Wanderers continued to trail, 12-7.
While Zacara only put one goal on the scoreboard in the final chukker (Lea), and the Wanderers got three more goals out of Kampsen, it was Zacara that took the game, 13-10.
Kampsen led all scoring with eight goals. Sugar Erskine and Nacho Figueras added single goals in the loss.
Lyndon Lea led the Zacara attack with five goals. Jeff Hall scored four times and Gonzalo del Tour and Toto Collardin each picked up a pair of goals.
Leas was named MVP while Sugar Erskineâ€™s mare, Violet, received Best Playing Pony honors.
LUCCHESE 15, LECHUZA CARACAS 10
A hard-charging Lucchese (3-0) team scored an impressive 15-10 win over Lechuza Caracas (2-1) Sunday afternoon in a battle of unbeatens in Ylvisaker Cup tournament action as teams began jockeying for playoff positions in the two-bracket structure.
Andres Weisz scored twice and Luis Escobar added a goal as Lucchese ran off to an early 3-2 first chukker lead. Santi Torres accounted for both of the Lechuza goals.
Luccheseâ€™s Pancho Bensadon got on track in the second chukker, scoring three times while Escobar converted a penalty shot for a goal. Lechuza was held to a single goal from the field (Nicolas Espain). Lucchese led by four goals, 7-3.
Lechuza got a pair of goals from Tomas Goti in the third. Escobar scored once from the field for Zacara to lead them to an 8-5 halftime score.
Pancho Bensadon scored for Lucchese before Lechuza fired back with goals from Goti and Espain, cutting the Lucchese lead to two goals, 9-7, at the end of the fourth period.
Bensadon exploded again in the fifth with three goals from the field. Goti converted a single penalty shot as Lucchese extended its lead to four goals, 12-8 to end the chukker.
Lechuza got two last chukker goals from team captain Victor Vargas while Lucchese got single goals from Andres Weisz, Bensadon and Escobar for the 15-10 win.
â€œThey are a very talented team,â€ said Luccheseâ€™s Luis Escobar after the game. â€œThey are very well mounted and have a lot of experience together,â€ he added, â€œbut we have great chemistry, and we played well today.â€
HAWKS 10, FARAWAY POLO 9
In one of the most hotly contested games of the tournament, the Hawks (2-0) scored an exciting 10-9 overtime victory over an energized Faraway Polo (0-3) team in Ylvisaker Cup play to start the day.
Finalists in last weekâ€™s Joe Barry Memorial Cup, the Hawks jumped out to an early 3-1 lead and hung on to end the first half with a narrow 6-5 lead.
â€œI thought we were doing fine in the first couple of chukkers,â€ said Hawkâ€™s 10-goaler Mariano Aguerre, â€œbut when they changed their lineup we had trouble playing our game.â€
Faraway tied it at the end of four chukkers with a pair of goals from Julio Arellano while holding the Hawks to a single goal from Cachi Garcia-Velez.
Defenses tightened, and the teams traded penalty goals in the fifth with Fred Mannix, Jr. scoring on a Penalty 2 while Arellano made good on a 60 yard shot. At the end of five the score was even at 8-8.
Both teams continued to press their attacks, but the defenses were up to the task. Finally, the Hawks got a break as Fred Mannix, Jr. converted a penalty shot to go ahead, 9-8, but the lead was short-lived. Arellano scored his fourth goal of the day to knot it up at 9-9 as time expired, forcing a sudden-death overtime period.
Just over a minute into overtime the whistle sounded. Faraway was awarded the penalty shot from sixty yards out, a shot Arellano had made just two chukkers earlier. This time the shot went wide, and the Hawks remained alive.
Cachi Garcia-Velez drove the ball down the field where it was picked up by Julian Mannix, who attempted to break through the Faraway defenders. After being hooked and losing control of the ball, brother Fred Mannix, Jr. came through the collection of horses and riders to score the winning goal in the 10-9 Hawks victory.