No, not that Gracida, but a Meghan Gracida-led La Herradura polo team (Carlos Hernandez, Meghan Gracida, Augusto Sola and Elise Pardue) took top honors in the Empire Polo Club’s 1-goal Coaching League with a 9-6 win over a talented Chapel Hill lineup (Domingo Questel, Paul Sethi, Torrey Ripinsky and Todd Randall) Sunday morning.
With her husband, former 10-goaler Memo Gracida, coaching from the sidelines, Meghan took the reins of her team as they took an early lead and held on for the team’s win in their first tournament of the year.
Torrey Ripinsky scored the first goal of the game for Chapel Hill, 1-0, that was answered by La Herradura’s Carlos Hernandez, 1-1. Veteran Domingo Questel made it 2-1 for Chapel Hill, but that would be their last lead of the day. Two goals from Hernandez ended the first chukker with La Herradura on top, 3-2.
Two more second period goals from Hernandez were supported by a disciplined defense that held Chapel Hill to a single goal from Todd Randall. At the end of the second chukker of the four-period match, La Herradura held a two-goal advantage, 5-3.
Meghan Gracida opened the second half scoring with her first goal of the game, 6-3, but Chapel Hill fired back. Consecutive goals from Randall had Chapel Hill within a goal of the lead, 6-5. La Herradura tightened their defense and Elise Pardue scored the final goal of the chukker to maintain their two-goal lead, 7-5.
Two fourth period goals from Hernandez extended the La Herradura lead to four goals, 9-5, with little time left in the game. A final goal from Ripinsky scored the final goal of the game as Meghan Gracida and her La Herradura teammates celebrated the 9-6 victory.
Hernandez led the field in scoring with seven goals. Pardue and Meghan Gracida each added a goal for the win. Randall led the Chapel Hill attack with three goals. Ripinsky scored twice and Questel added a goal in the loss.