Hanalei Bay (Krista Bonaguidi, Ron Bonaguidi, Ashton Wolf and Alvaro Tadeo) had been close in the last two tournaments only to see Pheasant Hollow (Deb Vermoch, Eileen Duffy, Carlos Galindo and Tim Rudy) take top honors in both the Desert Challenge and the Coyote Classic, but the weekend belonged to them.
“We changed the way we played this weekend,” offered Hanalei 3-goaler Ashton Wolf. “Instead of turning on the ball we started hitting backhanders to one another. Our success was all about teamwork,” he added, “four players working together.”
Ron Bonaguidi scored the first goal of the day for an early 1-0 lead over Granite Bay (Cameron Smith, Eric Hammon, Victor Soto and Alonso Andrade) in the round-robin competition. Cameron Smith tied the game at 1-1 for Granite Bay moments later. Krista Bonaguidi converted a 30-yard penalty shot for the final goal of the chukker and a 2-1 Hanalei Bay lead.
Both defenses held the scoring in the second period to a minimum. Alvaro Tadeo scored on a penalty shot for Hanalei Bay while he and his teammates held Granite Bay to a single goal from Smith for the 3-2 victory (a two-day total of 6-5).
“They’re (Granite Bay) a good team,” said Wolf. “They all all played well,” he said, “They were tough.”
The addition of Alonso Andrade seemed to be just what Granite Bay needed as the chemistry of the new lineup carried them to back-to-back ties in Saturday’s contests against Hanalei Bay and Pheasant Hill, and when the faced Pheasant Hollow on Sunday, they picked up right where they left off.
Granite Bay scored on single goals from Andrade and Victor Soto to go up 2-0 before Pheasant Hollow could mount an effective attack. Carlos Galindo got them on the scoreboard with the final goal of the period. Granite Hill left the field at the end of the chukker with a 2-1 advantage.
Tim Rudy leveled the score at 2-2 as the second period got underway, and Debra Vermoch added a penalty goal for the 3-2 edge. Soto’s second goal of the day ended the game in a 3-3 tie (a two-day total that had the teams even at six goals apiece).
The final two periods of the afternoon would see the Hanalei Bay team continue to roll. Goals were scarce in the opening chukker as both teams concentrated on defense. Ashton Wolf sent the ball through the Pheasant Hollow goalposts for the only score and a fragile 1-0 advantage.
Tadeo scored on a 60-yard penalty shot, 2-0, to open the scoring in the final period of the day. Hanalei Bay stretched their lead to three goals, 3-0, with Wolf adding another goal before Pheasant Hollow could respond. A 60-yard penalty conversion from Tim Rudy allowed them to escape the shutout, with Tadeo putting the icing on the cake with a final goal in the 4-1 rout. The two-day total had Hanalei Bay beating Pheasant Hill by four goals, 8-4.
Wolf and Tadeo set the offensive pace for Hanalei Bay in the Jackalope Cup with five goals apiece. Both Krista and Ron Bonaguidi added two goals each for the win.
The final four-goal tournament of the month, the Holiday Cup, is scheduled to be played at the Empire Polo Club on Saturday, December 23rd. The two-day competition will conclude on Saturday, December 24th.
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 760-342-775