By Alex Webbe
Jesse Bray, substituting for an injured Ernie Ezcurra, scored ten goals as Barrossa (Erik Wright, Jef Graham, Santiago Trotz and Jesse Bray) smothered Trinity (Rick Paicius, Robin Paicius, Clemente Zavaleta and Agustin Zavaleta) in the finals of the 2012 Champions Cup finals at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California Sunday afternoon.
Bray scored three goals from the field in the opening chukker while the Barrossa defense limited Trinity to a single penalty goal from Clemente Zavaleta. Barrossa looked strong as they took the early 3-1 lead.
Second chukker goals from Bray and Graham had Barrossa ahead, 5-1 before Trinity could respond. A pair of goals from Clemente Zavaleta kept them close, trailing Barrossa by two goals, 5-3.
Bray put Barrossa in the lead, 6-3 in third chukker play, but a penalty conversion and a goal from the field by Clemente Zavaleta had Trinity within a goal at 6-5, but that would be as close as they would get for the balance of the afternoon. Another goal from the field from Bray was complimented by a penalty goal from Santiago Trotz. Barrossa left the field after the first half with an 8-5 lead.
Action settled down in the second half, with Trotz scoring the only goal of the fourth chukker. Trinity was blanked and Barrossa moved further in front, 9-5.
Bray exploded in the fifth period, picking up three more goals from the field and a penalty goal. Trinity was unable to get on the scoreboard for the second consecutive chukker, falling behind 13-5.
Clemente Zavaleta scored the first goal of the sixth chukker on a penalty conversion and added another goal from the field, but the Trinity rally stalled. Trotz scored the final goal of the game from the field as Barrossa rolled over Trinity 14-7 for the 2012 Champions Cup title and the tournament’s top prize money.
Bray’s ten goals were a game high. Barrossa teammate Trotz scored three times and Graham added a goal in the win.
Clemente Zavaleta scored all seven of the Trinity goals. To no one’s surprise, Bray was named MVP while Ernie Ezcurra’s mare, Sharapova, ridden by Bray, was honored as Best Playing Pony.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH 9, CASA SOMBRES 8 OT
Rocky Mountain High (Noah Sprung, Roxy Keyfauver, Kimo Huddleston and Cybele Jordan) needed an overtime goal to score its hard-fought 9-8 win over Casa Sombres (Bolko Kissling, Conrad Kissling, Ernesto Bautista and Ashton Wolf) in the finals of the Empire Polo Club’s Lions Cup 4-goal tournament earlier in the day.
In a defensive-minded first period, Casa Sombres scored the only goal of the chukker with Ernie Bautista scoring from the field. Rocky Mountain High trailed early, 1-0.
Second chukker goals from Bautista and Bolko Kissling went unanswered as Casa Sombres extended its lead to three goals, 3-0 as Rocky Mountain High was having difficulties in organizing an effective attack. Ashton Wolf scored the first goal of the third chukker to put Casa Sombres on top, 4-0 when Rocky Mountain High found its offense. Consecutive goals from Noah Sprung, Roxy Keyfauver and Kimo Huddleston had them back in the game, trailing Casa Sombres by a single goal, 4-3, at the end of the first three chukkers.
Casa Sombres rallied in the fourth, picking up single goals from Bolko Kissling, Bautista and Wolf. Huddleston scored twice (once on a penalty shot) to keep it close, but Casa Sombres left the field with a 7-5 edge with one chukker left in regulation play.
Penalty goals from Huddleston and Jordan were topped off by a go-ahead goal from the field from Keyfauver for an 8-7 Rocky Mountain High advantage, but Bolko Kissling kept the Casa Sombres hopes alive with his third goal of the game to tie it up at 8-8, forcing a sudden-death overtime chukker.
A goal from the field from Huddleston made short work of the extra period as Rocky Mountain High rode away with the 9-8 first place finish.
Huddleston led all scoring with five goals. Keyfauver added two goals and Sprung and Jordan each scored a goal in the victory.
Bolko Kissling and Bautista scored three goals apiece for Casa Sombres. Wolf was credited with two goals in the loss.