Carlos Galindo’s four goals helped carry Pheasant Hollow (Deb Vermoch, Eileen Duffy, Carlos Galindo and Tim Rudy) to a pair of wins the seasoning-opening 4-goal Desert Challenge Saturday afternoon at the Empire Polo Club.
The three-team round-robin began with Hanalei Bay (Krista Bonaguidi, Ron Bonaguidi, Ashton Wolf and Alvaro Tadeo) jumping out to an early 3-0 lead over Seattle (Cameron Smith, Suki Piper, Victor Soto and Goyo Mariscal) and running off with the 4-2 victory in the opening two chukkers of the tournament.
Two 30-yard penalty conversions from Krista Bonaguidi and a goal from the field from Ashton wolf gave Hanalei Bay an early 3-0 lead that they never gave up.
Seattle scrambled back in the second period with a goal from the field from Victor Soto and a 30-yard penalty goal from Cameron Smith. Alvaro Tadeo closed out the scoring for Hanaei Bay for the 4-2 win.
Seattle remained on the field for the second two-chukker mini-match against Pheasant Hollow, but fared no better. Seattle matched Pheasant Hollow goal for goal in the opening seven minutes of play, countering goals from Tim Rudy and Carlos Galindo with single goals from Smith and Soto, 2-2. But the next seven minutes belonged to Pheasant Hollow.
Deb Vermoch converted a 30-yard penalty shot followed by goals from Galindo and Eileen Duffy. Seattle was held scoreless and fell, 5-2.
In the final two chukkers of play, Pheasant Hollow and Hanalei Bay battled to a 2-2 tie in the opening chukker. Wolf got Hanalei Bay on the scoreboard first, but Pheasant Hollow countered with a goal from Rudy, 1-1. Tadeo’s second score of the day had Hanalei Bay in te lead, 2-1, but Galindo closed out the scoring in the period for a 2-2 deadlock. Krista Bonaguidi and Rudy traded goals in the final chukker, 3-3. Galindo scored his tournament high, fifth goal of the afternoon for the 4-3 Pheasant Hollow win.
The day ended with Pheasant Hollow in the lead, 9; Hanalei Bay in second place with 7 goals and Seattle in third with 4.5 goals (the 3-goal Seattle team received one-half goal by handicap).
Desert Challenge Cup play continues at 11:30am on Field 5 at the Empire Polo Club with the total goals from Saturday and Sunday’s goals combined to determine the tournament winner.
The Desert Challenge is the first of four consecutive 4-goal tournaments, followed by the Coyote Cup, the Jackalope Cup and the Holiday Cup.
The 2017-2018 Empire Polo season attracts players from across the country and around the world and offers fourteen weekends of fast-paced polo in the beautiful and relaxed setting of California’s winter playground.
The Empire Polo Club is located at 81-800 Avenue 51 in Indio, CA. For further information, go to the club website at http://www.empirepolo.com or call 760-342-7755.