By Alex Webbe
Click here to view photos from this weekend.
Four teams took to the fields at the Empire Polo Club this past weekend in Indio, California to compete in the 10-goal Emerald Cup.
Friday’s action featured an Empire (Craig Steinke, Mariano Fassetta, Ashton Wolf and Eric Hammon) team scoring an 11-6 win over Trinity (Rick Paicius, Robin Paicius, Mariano Gutierrez and Agustin Zavaleta) in an afternoon contest.
Empire’s Eric Hammon scored the first goal of the match followed by a goal from Trinity’s Agustin Zavaleta for a 1-1 first chukker.
Stalled attacks and miscued passes saw little more scoring in the second period with Ashton wolf scoring a go-ahead goal for Empire, 2-1, only to be countered by a goal from Rick Paicius of Trinity. A frustrating second period ended in a 2-2 stalemate. Trinity’s Zavaleta opened the third period with a goal, but Empire’s Wolf fired back with a pair of goals as Empire rode off the field at the end of the first half guarding a narrow 4-3 advantage.
An energized Empire team took control of the second half as a resolute defense shut out the Trinity offense while scoring three unanswered goals. Wolf scored twice and Mariano Fassetta added a goal as Empire extended its lead to four goals, 7-3.
The attack of the Empire continued in the fifth as they picked up three more goals. Once again it was Wolf with two goals and Fassetta with a single score. Zavaleta scored a single goal for Trinity who now trailed by six goals, 10-4.
Paicius opened the scoring in the final chukker of play with a goal, but that was the last gasp of offense Trinity could produce. Hammon added a second goal for Empire as they rode off with the 11-6 victory.
Wolf recorded seven goals for Empire. Teammates Hammon and Fassetta added two goals apiece.
Zavaleta scored four times for Trinity. Paicius added two goals in the loss.
TENTNOLOGY 13, GYPSY/TRITECH 12 OT
Tentnology (Gery Warner, Nicolas Maciel, Artie Cameron and Miguel Gutierrez) held on in a nip-and-tuck game to take home the win over Gypsy/Tritech (Chris Maloney, Gaston Von Wernich, Graham Bray and Suzanne Figi) in a 13-12 overtime match.
Tentnology received two goals by handicap from the 10-goal Gypsy/Tritech, but early goals from Gaston von Wernich and Chris Maloney (penalty goal) tied it up at 2-2. Tentnology added a first chukker goal from Nicolas Maciel for the 3-2 lead at the end of the period.
Gypsy/Tritech took charge in the second frame, picking up four gals while yielding one goal from the field and one goal by handicap. Graham Bray scored the first two goals of the chukker to tie and then top Tentnology, 4-3. Miguel Gutierrez knotted it up again with a goal, 4-4. Penalty goals from Von Wernich and Maloney had Gypsy/Tritech ahead, 6-4, but Maciel converted a 40-yard penalty shot for a Tentnology goal. Gypsy/Tritech continued to lead, but it was by a narrow one goal, 6-5 margin.
Third chukker action belonged to Tentnology. For the first time all day Tentnology was able to shut down the Gypsy/Tritech attack. Penalty goals from Maciel and Artie Cameron ended the first half with Tentnology sitting on a narrow 7-6 lead.
Gypsy/Tritech stormed back in the second half, collecting a pair of goals from Von Wernich and a single goal from Maloney. Gutierrez added two goals to tie it up once again, 9-9.
Von Wernich put Gypsy/Tritech on top, 11-9 in the fifth period with a pair of goals from the field, but a penalty goal from Maciel kept it close as the game moved into the sixth chukker.
Gutierrez scored first for Tentnology countered by a goal from Gypsy/Tritech’s Bray. Gypsy/Tritech continued to lead, but the margin was cut down to a single goal, 12-11. Gery Warner tied it up at 12-12 with his first goal of the game, and the contest was sent into sudden-death overtime.
Gutierrez scored the winning goal in overtime for Tentnology in a heartbreaker for the talented Gypsy/Tritech lineup.
Von Wernich scored six times for Gypsy/Tritech. Teammates Maloney and Bray each added three goals in a losing effort.
Gutierrez was credited with six goals for Tentnology. Maciel added four goals; Warner scored once and the team received two goals by handicap.
TRINITY 8, TENTNOLOGY
Tentnology tried to make it two in a row in Sunday afternoon’s feature match, but Trinity had other ideas as they rebounded from a 5-4 halftime deficit to score an 8-7 come-from-behind win.
Trinity spotted Tentnology two goals by handicap but came up with four first chukker goals to take an early 4-3 lead. Agustin Zavaleta scored three times and Rick Paicius added a penalty goal for Trinity while Artie Cameron picked up the only goal from the field for Tentnology.
Single goals from Nicolas Maciel and Miguel Gutierrez were complimented by shutout defense from Tentnology as they took a 5-4 lead going into the third chukker.
This time it was Trinity’s defense that took center stage. Goals from Mariano Gutierrez and Agustin Zavaleta went unanswered as the led changed again. The third period ended with Trinity holding on to a narrow 6-5 lead.
Cameron tied it up in the fourth, but a goal from the field from Paicius kept Trinity in front, 7-6, at the end of the period.
Fifth chukker play had Paicius scoring on a penalty conversion for an 8-6 lead, but Cameron managed to counter it with a goal from the field. With one chukker left to be played, Trinity guarded a one goal, 8-7, advantage.
Tentnology struggled to break through the Trinity defense in the final chukker of play, but it was not to be. Aggressive defensive play and deftly placed clearing shots kept them off the scoreboard as Trinity rode on to collect an 8-7 win.
Zavaleta set the pace for the Trinity offense with four goals. Paicius scored three times and Mariano Gutierrez added a goal.
Cameron scored three times for Tentnology. Maciel and Miguel Gutierrez added single goals. Tentnology received two goals by handicap.