Evergreen (Tom Sprung, Carlitos Galindo, Juan Jo Gonzales and Bayne Bossom) captured the first final berth in the 2018 Stagecoach Challenge with a healthy 12-7 win over Granite Bay (Eric Hammon, Julie Fernandez, Alvaro Tadeo and Goyo Mariscal) in a 10AM Saturday morning game at the Empire Polo Club.
Alvaro Tadeo got Granite Bay on the scoreboard first with a 60-yard penalty conversion, but Evergreen battled back. Consecutive goals from the field from Juan Jo Gonzalez closed out the first chukker with evergreen on top, 2-1.
Evergreen controlled the second period as they put up four unanswered goals. Gonzalez opened with a goal followed by a pair of goals from teammate Bayne Bossom to make it 5-1. Gonzalez scored the final goal of the period to put Evergreen into a comfortable 6-1 lead.
Gonzalez stretched the Evergreen lead to seven goals, 8-1, scoring back to back goals in the third. Goyo Mariscal scored Granite Bay’s first goal in over a chukker cutting the lead back to six goals, 8-2. Gonzalez scored his third goal of the chukker and his fifth of the game to give Evergreen a commanding 9-2 halftime advantage.
Gonzalez opened the second half with a goal from the field, 10-2, before a stifling Granite Bay defensive effort shut the door on him. A pair of goals from “Eric Hammon and a goal from Tadeo gave Granite Bay some hop as they left the field at the end of the fourth chukker trailing by five goals, 10-5.
Carlitos Galindo lashed out with two goals in the fifth, 12-5, as Evergreen pressured the Granite Bay defenders. A 30-yard penalty goal from Hammon closed out the period with Evergreen in control, 12-6.
Tadeo scored the first goal of the sixth chukker, but that would be the end of any Granite Bay offense. Single goals from Bossom and Galindo ended the game with Evergreen earning a spot in Sunday’s 2PM finals on the strength of the 14-7 victory.
Gonzalez led the field with six goals. Galindo scored five times and Bossom added three goals for the win. Tadeo and Hammon provided most of the offense for Granite Bay, scoring three goals apiece. Mariscal added a goal in the loss.
Hanalei Bay 14, Empire 5
Ashton Wolf scored first for Hanalei Bay (Krista Bonaguidi, Ashton Wolf, Taylor Freeman and Ian Schnoebelen) in the 2PM Stagecoach Challenge game with a goal from Ian Schnoebelen making it 3-0 (Hanalei Bay received one goal by handicap) in the early minutes of the match. Rob Scapa got Empire (Rob Scapa, Eileen Duffy, Erik Wright and Jim Wright) on the scoreboard with the final goal of the chukker to trail, 3-1.
Scapa tried to rally the Empire offense as he scored consecutives goals from the field for a 3-3 tie. A goal from Krista Bonaguidi and two more from Wolf put Hanalei Bay in front by three goals at the end of the chukker, 6-3.
Wolf added two more goals in the third while a solid defensive effort by every member of the Hanalei Bay defense held Empire scoreless for a five-goal, 8-3 halftime lead.
Hanalei Bay continued to have their way with Empire in the fourth and fifth chukkers with single goals from Wolf and Schnoebelen and shutout defense expanding the lead to seven goals after the fourth, 10-3, and nine goals, 12-3 after scores from Taylor Freeman and Wolf in the fifth.
The two teams traded goals in the final chukker of the game with Bonaguidi and Wolf adding goals for Hanalei Bay and Empire responding with goals from Erik Wright and Jim Wright in the 14-5 beatdown.
Wolf scored a game-high eight goals for Hanalei Bay. Bonaguidi and Schnoebelen added two goals each. Freeman was credited with a goal and the team received one goal by handicap for the win. Scapa’s three goals were a team-high for Empire. Erik Wright and Jim Wright each added a goal in the losing effort.
The win sends Hanalei Bay to Sunday’s 2PM finals against Evergreen with Empire facing Granite Bay in a noon consolation match. Both games will be played on Empire Polo Club Field 1.
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://empirepolo.com or call 760-342-7755.