After trailing Enigma (Jerome Wirth, Jeff Hall, Matias MacDonough and Carlucho Arellano) by four goals at the end of the fourth chukker, Villa Del Lago (Jim Zenni, Agustin Obregon, Polito Pieres and Julian de Lusarreta) rallied for five unanswered goals in the fifth to carry the team to the 11-10 win Wednesday afternoon in the first semifinal of the 20-goal Joe Barry memorial Cup at the International Polo Club.
Polito Pieres scored the first goal of the game just two minutes into the opening chukker, but the rest of the period belonged to Jerome Wirth’s Enigma lineup. Matias MacDonough took the ensuing throw-in and raced 150-yards down the field for the tying goal, 1-1. Carlucho Arellano added a goal just a minute later, 2-1, with Jeff Hall closing out the chukker with a final goal at the 1:32 mark for the 3-1 lead.
MacDonough converted a 30-yard penalty shot in the opening minute of the second period, 4-1, when Villa Del Lago came alive. Jim Zenni scored the first goal of the chukker for Villa De Lago with a shot from the field. Polito Pieres followed up with a pair of penalty shots that tied the game at 4-4. Arellano ended the chukker by converting a 40-yard penalty shot for the go-ahead goal, 5-4.
Enigma continued to dominate the game in the third. Shutout defense was bolstered by goals from MacDonough and Arellano (penalty goal). The first half ended with Enigma in possession of a 7-4 lead.
Hall scored the first goal of the second half with Macdonough passing the ball to Arellano who in turn send the ball to Hall for the score, 8-4. Pieres racked up another penalty goal to make it 8-5. Consecutive goals from MacDonough, Arellano extended the lead to five goals, 10-5. Agustin Obregon scored the final goal of the chukker to trail Enigma, 10-6.
Just as Enigma had dominated earlier chukkers, Villa Del Lago owned the fifth. Enigma watched as Villa Del Lago scored five consecutive goals for an 11-10 lead with once chukker remaining to be played. Obregon and Julian de Lusarreta scored the first goal of the chukker, with Pieres converting a penalty shot midway through the period to trail, 10-9. A nearside backhander from Pieres leveled the score at 10-10 with Obregon giving Villa Del Lago an 11-10 lead.
Both teams played lights out defense in the final chukker, with neither able to put any points on the scoreboard. The game ended with Villa Del Lago celebrating the 11-10 win.
Pieres led all scoring with six goals (four on penalty conversions). Obregon scored three times. Zenni and de Lusarreta added a goal for the win. MacDonough and Arellano scored four goals apiece for Enigma. Hall chipped in two goals in the loss.
The win boosted Villa Del Lago into the tournament final (the second 20-goal final of the season for them).
Second semifinal interrupted; will finish Thursday morning
The second semifinal game of the tournament between Orchard Hill (Steve Van Andel, Lucas Criado, Facundo Pieres and Remy Muller) and Lucchese (Benjamin Avendano, Andres Weisz, Magoo Laprida and Nico Pieres) was interrupted 2:47 left to play in the fourth chukker, following a collision that sent horse and rider (Andres Weisz-suspected broken collarbone) to the ground.
Prior to the accident, Facundo Pieres led Orchard Hill to an 8-6 lead with six goals from the field. Nico Pieres scored five times for Lucchese (two on penalty shots.
The game has been scheduled to be completed in an 11AM meeting on Thursday morning. No official replacement for Weisz has been announced at this time.