Pacific Coast Open – Final

SANTA BARBARA, CA. (August 28th, 2022) The Santa Barbara Polo Club high goal season finale found team L.I.N.Y. facing off against Farmers & Merchants Bank. The two teams battled out the 2022 USPA NetJets Pacific Coast Open in front of a sold-out stadium. The tangible energy of the highly motivated players captured the audience as both teams left it all out on the field to be crowned champions.

The eldest member on L.I.N.Y., Santino Magrini, aged 21, found himself accompanied by three teenagers in this match. With their youthful make-up, L.I.N.Y. showcased their signature style of physical, high-powered polo to kick-off the contest. Applying pressure early, Keko Magrini and Poroto Cambiaso for L.I.N.Y. combined for three goals in the opening chukker to knock FMB on their heels with a 3-1 advantage.

Exchanging penalty goals in the second, L.I.N.Y. narrowly outscored FMB with two conversions from Cambiaso. Meanwhile Peke Gonzalez for FMB, the tournament leading penalty shooter with eighteen goals, easily hit his Penalty 2 to keep FMB within three goals. Finishing off a play from his older brother Santino, Keko drove to goal to open the third. Back-to-back goals from FMB saw Facundo Obregon scoring his team’s first field goal since the opening chukker. Following a safety attempt from Cambiaso, FMB had one last chance to make a play before the break. Gonzalez made a brilliant steal from Cambiaso then escorted the ball through the goal, however L.I.N.Y. ultimately walked off with the lead 10-6 at halftime.

Cambiaso took advantage of FMB’s foul troubles in the fourth chukker, as three penalty conversions emphasized L.I.N.Y.’s lead. Needing a jolt to bring them back into contention, a crucial field goal from sponsor, Danny Walker, ended the chukker on a high note for FMB, cutting their deficit to four. 

Keko Magrini opened up the fifth chukker with a strong drive to goal. But tides turned as the young team took their turn fouling, allowing an automatic Penalty 1 and goal from Lucas Criado to bring FMB suddenly back within reach. 

Trailing by just two goals to begin the sixth chukker, Gonzalez continued to shine from the penalty line, hitting the goal on back-to-back conversions to push FMB to within one. With the game on the line, Cambiaso expertly navigated through traffic once more to send the ball through the posts to give L.I.N.Y. an instrumental cushion. Despite a last second effort from Gonzalez in the final seconds of regulation to score his thirty-fifth goal of the tournament to bring FMB within one, Cambiaso’s goal ultimately stood as the difference to deliver L.I.N.Y.’s first Pacific Coast Open title, 12-11.

Leading L.I.N.Y. with seven goals, including six penalty conversions, and finishing third in scoring with thirty-four goals in the Pacific Coast Open, Poroto Cambiaso was named Most Valuable Player and his mare, “Dolfina Ojos”, received best playing pony for the match. Peke Gonzalez’s “GT Polleruda”, an 8-year-old gray mare played in the first and fifth chukkers, was awarded Best Playing Pony Argentine Bred. The Robert Skene season MVP award went to Inaki Laprida on The Santa Barbara Polo Club thanks all of its players, management, sponsors, and spectators for an amazing high-goal season.
– United States Polo Association, Cristina Fernandez, abridged article credit

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