La Herradura to face FMB in USPA Piaget Silver Cup finals on Sunday
By Alex Webbe
FMB (Dan Walker, Inaki Laprida, Lucas Criado and Henry Walker) entered the late
afternoon game needing a victory to have a chance of making their way into the finals of
the 2013 USPA Piaget Silver Cup at the Santa Barbara Polo Club, and on the strength
of a 9-6 win over previously undefeated Restoration Hardware (Ben Soleimani, Hilario
Ulloa, Adam Snow and Santi Von Wernich), did just that.
In a tightly-contested opening chukker FMB’s Lucas Criado scored the only goal of the
period as Restoration Hardware was unable to score. FMB left the field with a humble
1-0 advantage, but took the early lead.
A resilient FMB defense held Restoration Hardware scoreless for the second
consecutive chukker. FMB picked up a pair of goals from the field from Inaki Laprida ad
a penalty conversion from Criado. After two periods FMB was in front 4-0.
Restoration Hardware finally showed up in the third. Pitching a defensive shutout of
their own, they took advantage of some FMB fouls. Hilario Ulloa converted a pair of
penalty shots for goals and Adam Snow added another from the field. Restoration
Hardware cut the FMB lead to a single goal, 4-3.
FMB took control of the match again as second half play got underway. Criado scored
three consecutive goals for FMB as a struggling Restoration Hardware was blanked for
the third time in four chukkers. With two periods left, FMB held a 7-3, four goals lead.
Restoration Hardware picked up two goals in the fifth with Snow converting a 60-yard
penalty shot while Ulloa scored from the field. Criado converted a penalty shot from 40-
yards to keep FMB in the lead, 8-5.
FMB continued to press but were extremely foul conscious. Single goals were scored
by Criado and Ulloa as FMB celebrated the win and a berth in the tournament finals on
Criado led all scoring with seven goals. Laprida added two goals for the win. Ulloa
scored four times (twice on penalties) for Restoration Hardware. Snow added two in a
The game was played on the ERG field.
LA HERRADURA 11, LUCCHESE 10
Earlier in the day La Herradura (Alvaro Fernandez, Marianito Obregon, Memo Gracida,
Carlos Gracida) remained undefeated and earned the other finalist berth by defeating
Lucchese (Andres Weisz, Tavi Usandizaga, Pelon Stirling and John Muse) 11-10.
Lucchese got on the scoreboard first on a pair of goals from the field from Tavi
Usandizaga, 2-0. Carlos Gracida kept La Herradura from being shut out with a goal, 2-
Carlos Gracida added two more goals in the second and Marianito Obregon scored his
first goal of the game. Lucchese 10-goaler Pelon Stirling converted two 60-yard penalty
shots and it was all even at 4-4.
The third chukker belonged to La Herradura on both offense and defense. Carlos
Gracida scored three goals (one on a penalty shot) and Memo Gracida got on the
scoreboard with his first goal of the day. A miserly defense held Lucchese scoreless as
La Herradura left the field with a four goals lead, 8-4.
Defense was the byword of the fourth chukker. Memo Gracida managed to break
through the Lucchese defense to score the only goal of the period as Lucchese was
held scoreless for the second consecutive chukker. The La Herradura lead had been
extended to five goals, 9-4.
Stirling opened the fifth chukker with a pair goals (one on a penalty shot), cutting the La
Herradura lead to three goals, 9-6. Andres Weisz scored the final goal of the chukker.
La Herradura continued to lead, but the margin had been cut to two manageable goals
with a final chukker to play.
Memo Gracida stretched the La Herradura lead back to three goals, 10-7, for his
third goal of the match. Stirling countered with a goal from the field, 10-8. Memo
Gracida scored again for La Herradura, 11-8. Usandizaga and Stirling (60-yard penalty
conversion) scored the final two goals of the game, but there wasn’t enough time left as
La Herradura celebrated the 11-10 victory.
Carlos Gracida was credited with six goals for La Herradura (one on a penalty shot).
Memo Gracida scored four times and Obregon added a goal for the win. Stirling scored
four of his six goals on penalty shots. Usandizaga added three goals from the field and
Weisz scored once in the loss.
ERG 18, CATAMOUNT 11
Sugar Erskine had a career day as ERG (Scott Wood, Sugar Erskine, Jeff Blake and
Paco de Narvaez) broke open a hotly-contested first half to score an impressive 18-11
win over Catamount (Scott Devon, Brandon Phillips, Julio Gracida and Mike Azzaro)
in a morning contest that saw Catamount lose their third consecutive game in as many
Catamount received one goal by handicap and added three more to it in open chukker
play for a 5-3 lead. Catamount got a pair of goals from both Brandon Phillips and Mie
Azzaro while limiting ERG to three goals from Sugar Erskine (one on a penalty shot).
The two teams exchanged goals in the second period. Erskine converted another
penalty shot for a goal and Paco de Narvaez scored from the field for a 5-5 tie. Phillips
closed out the chukker with a penalty goal and a goal from the field. After two chukkers
Catamount held a 7-5 advantage.
Julio Gracida’s 60-yard penalty conversion extended the Catamount lead to three
goals in the third, 8-5, when the ERG offense came alive. Five consecutive ERG goals
(four from Erskine and one from Jeff Blake) ended the first half with Catamount finding
themselves trailing, 10-8.
A pair of goals from de Narvaez stretched the ERG lead to four goals, 12-8 before
Catamount responded. A single 40-yard penalty conversion from Phillips was all the
offense Catamount could muster as they fell behind, 12-9 with two chukkers left to play.
There was no let-up in ERG in the fifth, with de Narvaez adding two more goals and
Blake and Erskine chipping in single goals. Catamount team captain Scott Devon
scored his first goal of the game in the fifth and Azzaro added another, but with one
chukker remaining ERG was in front by five goals.
Erskine and de Narvaez scored the only goals of the final chukker in an 18-11 romp
Erskine’s hot hand resulted in a game high ten goals (two on penalty shots). De
Narvaez scored six times and Blake added a pair of goals. Phillips scored five times for
Catamount. Azzaro added three goals while Gracida and Devon each scored once.
ERG, FMB and Restoration Hardware were all tied with a 2-1 record, relegating them
to play a shoot-out to decide the second Silver Cup finalist. FMB won the shootout and
will play La Herradura in Sunday’s final.