Valiente (Bob Jornayvaz, Tommy Beresford, Guillermo Terrera, Alejo Taranco and Sapo Caset) managed to beat Las Monjitas (Camilo Bautista, Facundo Sola, Sebastian Merlos and Eduardo Novillo Astrada) in overtime Wednesday afternoon, 13-12, in second round play in the 2015 United States Open Championship at the International Polo Club, but they needed an overtime goal with which to do it.
Valiente took the field without their star 10-goaler Adolfo Cambiaso (injured groin muscle) but were fortunate enough to have 10-goaler Sapo Caset in relief.
Valiente took possession of the opening throw in and pressed down the field where Guillermo Terrera drove the ball through the goalposts for a 1-0 lead in the first 30 seconds of play. Facundo Sola responded by converting a 40-yard penalty shot for a goal and a 1-1 tie. Alejo Taranco scored from the field to put Valiente back on top, 2-1. Sola added a 60-yard penalty goal and Taranco scored his second goal of the chukker for a 3-2 Valiente lead.
Valiente got into foul trouble in the second period. Sola scored on a pair of 30-yard penalty shots and missed a 60-yard attempt. Valiente was unable to score and fell behind, 4-3.
Sola continued to be the firepower for Las Monjitas, scoring consecutive goals (one on a 60-yard penalty shot) to extend their lead to three goals, 6-3. Valiente countered with a pair of goals from Sapo Caset (one on a 30-yard penalty conversion) and a goal from the field from Taranco. A major collision resulted in an injury to Bob Jornayvaz (leg), forcing him to remove himself from the game, with English 20goaler tommy Beresford replacing him for the duration of the game. At the end of the first half it was all even at 6-6.
The two teams traded goals in the fourth chukker with Caset converting a penalty shot from 60-yards out and Taranco adding a goal from the field midway through the period for an 8-6 advantage. Sola returned firs with two minutes on the clock, converting a 30-yard penalty shot for a goal, Forty seconds later another Valiente foul sent Sola to the penalty line again where he scored from 40-yards away for an 8-8 tie.
Sola scored the first two goals of the fifth chukker to push Las Monjitas into the lead, 10-8. Terrera answered back with a goal for Valiente, but Sebastian Merlos closed out the chukker with his first goal of the game as Las Monjitas took the lead, 11-9.
Eduardo Novillo Astrada scored in the opening 20, seconds of the sixth chukker for a 12-9 Las Monjitas lead, as Valiente fought to get back into the game. Tommy Beresford cut the Las Monjitas lead back to two goals, 12-10, with is first goal of the day at the 6:21 mark. Terrera added another goal with just under four minutes on the clock, bringing Valiente to within a goal of the lead, 12-11. Caset tied it up at 12-12 on a 30-yard penalty conversion, but a Valiente foul sent Sola to the penalty line to attempt a 60-yard shot at the goal, a shot he had converted three times earlier in the day. With just over a minute on the clock, the shot went wide both teams tried frantically to mount a last second attack, but the efforts failed. The two teams left the field to prepare for the sudden-death overtime period.
Both teams scrambled for possession of the ball in the opening minutes of overtime, with neither having the upper hand. Two minutes into the chukker, Caset found himself in possession of the ball and racing toward the Las Monjitas goal. A sweep of the mallet and the ball flew through the goalposts for the 13-12 overtime victory.
Valiente evened their record at 1-1 while Las Monjitas continue to look for their first US Open win of the season at 0-2.
Caset set the pace for the Valiente offense with five goals (three on penalty shots). Taranco added four goals; Terrera was credited with three goals and Beresford scored once for the win. Sola led all scorers with 10 goals for Las Monjitas. Astrada and Merlos added single goals in the loss.
Play in the 2015 US Open resumes on Saturday, April 4th with FlexJet (Melissa Ganzi, Nic Roldan, Miguel Novillo Astrada and Magoo Laprida) facing Alegria (Julian Mannix, Hilario Ulloa, Mariano Aguerre and Sterling Giannico) in a 10am game. Alegria (0-1) enters Saturday’s match as the defending US Open champion in desperate need of a win while FlexJet also sits at 0-1 after an overtime loss last week to Audi. Saturday’s 4:30pm contest features Audi (Marc Ganzi, Rodrigo Andrade, Gonzalito Pieres and Fred Mannix) and Lechuza Caracas (Victor Vargas, Agustin Garcia Grossi, Nico Pieres and Juan Martin Nero). Both teams are undefeated at 1-0.