Coca-Cola (Gillian Johnston, Sugar Erskine, Julio Arellano and Mason Wroe) and Valiente (Tommy Beresford, Peke Gonzalez, Santi Torres and Sapo Caset) won their 2015 20-goalYlvisaker Cup semifinal games on Wednesday afternoon at the International Polo Club and will be facing one another in this Sunday’s 3pm finals.
Coca-Cola scored the first win of the day with a 14-9 triumph over the high-scoring Villa Del Lago foursome (Jim Zenni, Agustin Obregon, Polito Pieres and Julian de Lusarreta) With the tournament’s leading scorer (Polito Pieres) at the helm, expectations were for a high-scoring run-and-shoot game, but that wasn’t the way it turned out Mason Wroe scored the first goal of the game, 1-1, from the field, followed by a score from Villa Del Lago’s Agustin Obregon, 1-1.Julio Arellano converted a 30-yard penalty shot for another Coca-Cola goal, 2-1, but a 60-yard penalty shot from Polito Pieres ended the chukker in a 2-2 deadlock.
Villa Del Lago added second chukker goals from Pieres and Argentine 7-goaler Julian de Lusarreta, but Coca-Cola released firepower of their own. Sugar Erskine and team captain Gillian Johnston, scored single goals from the field with Arellano adding another penalty goal to the mix. At the end of the second chukker Coca-Cola held a narrow one goal, 5-4 advantage over Villa Del Lago.
Third chukker goals from Erskine and Johnston opened the third period, stretching the Coca-Cola lead to three goals, 7-4. Pieres closed out the chukker with a pair of goals, cutting the Coca-Cola lead back to a single goal, 7-6.
The wheels came off the wagon for Villa Del Lago in the fourth and fifth chukkers when, unable to score, they watched Coca-Cola score three times in each period for a 13-6 lead. Two goals from Arellano (one on a penalty shot) and a goal from Erskine had them on top of Villa Del Lago, 10-6. Single goals from Erskine Arellano and Johnston in the fifth made the rout official as they sat on top of a seven goal lead with one chukker left in regulation time.
Erskine opened the sixth chukker with a goal from the field in the opening twenty seconds of play. Pieres scored twice over the next five minutes, 14-8, but the game was unofficially in hand for the Coca-Cola team. A final goal from de Lusarreta gave the 14-9 victory and a berth in the tournament final to Coca-Cola.
Erskine and Arellano scored five goals apiece. Johnston accounted for three goals and Wroe added a goal for the win. Pieres led all scoring with six goals; de Lusarreta scored twice and Obregon was credited with a single goal in the loss.
Valiente11, Lucchese 8
A Valiente lineup (Tommy Beresford, Peke Gonzalez, Santi Torres and Sapo Caset) that took the field without either team captain Bob Jornayvaz, his son Robert (sidelined by injuries) or the Number 1 ranked player in the world (Adolfo Cambiaso) in the lineup managed to recover from a slow start to beat Lucchese (John Muse, Magoo Laprida, Nico Pieres and Andres Weisz), 11-8, earning a berth in Sunday’s Ylvisaker Cup final against Coca-Cola.
Following a run at the Lucchese goal and a missed shot by Sapo Caset, Nico Pieres scored the first goal of the game on a 30-yard penalty shot, 1-0. Sapo Caset returned the favor minutes later with a penalty shot of his own that tied it at 1-1. Magoo Laprida scored the last goal of the period as Lucchese left the field with the early 2-1 lead.
Second chukker goals from Peke Gonzalez and Santi Torres were complimented with shutout defense by the Valiente lineup. After two chukkers it was Valiente in front by a single goal, 3-2.
Pieres tied it at 3-3 with a penalty shot, and gave the lead back to Lucchese with a 40-yard penalty conversion with just46 seconds left in the first half. After three chukkers of play, Lucchese held the lead, 4-3.
The Valiente team was on the attack from the opening throw-in of the fourth chukker. Valiente got their first goal of the period on a penalty conversion by Caset, 4-4. Caset then found himself on the scoring end of a pass from Gonzalez, racing over 130-yards down the field to stroke it through the goalposts, 5-4. Caset scored the final goal of the chukker on a pass from Santi Torres to make it 6-4. Lucchese was unable to get anything going on offense and trailed by two goals with two chukkers left to play.
Caset opened the fifth with a 30-yard penalty conversion that stretched the Valiente lead to three goals, 7-4, in the first twenty seconds of the fifth chukker. Three minutes later, Caset scored again to make it a four goal game, 8-4. Pieres got Lucchese on the scoreboard with a penalty goal, but it was Caset, once again, who took possession of the all and raced over 250-yards down the field to score the final goal of the chukker with one second on the clock. The Valiente lead stood at four goals, 9-5, with seven-and-a-half minutes left in regulation time.
A stubborn Lucchese lineup put three straight goals on the scoreboard in the opening three minutes of the sixth chukker to bring them to within a goal of the lead, 9-8. Pieres opened the rally by converting a 60-yard penalty shot for a goal, 9-6. Andres Weisz scored on a pass from Pieres less than a minute later, and Laprida scored the third goal of the chukker with 4:28 left in the chukker, 9-8. Goals from Tommy Beresford and Caset, however, shut down the threat and helped carry the Valiente team to an 11-8 win.
Caset led all scoring with eight goals (three on penalty shots). Gonzalez, Beresford and Torres scored single goals for the win. Pieres scored all five of his goals on penalty conversions. Laprida was credited with two goals and Weisz scored once in the loss.
The wins by Coca-Cola and Valiente will place them in Sunday afternoon’s 3pm Ylvisaker Cup final in the International Polo Club stadium.