With two games already under their belts, three of the four teams competing in the in the 2018 Stagecoach Challenge will have an opportunity to earn a berth in Sunday’s final at the Empire Polo Club when they play their last preliminary games on Saturday, January 6th.
Evergreen (Tom Sprung, Carlitos Galindo, Juan Jo Gonzalez and Bayne Bossom) remains the favorite going into Saturday’s game with Granite Bay (Eric Hammon, Julie Fernandez, Alvaro Tadeo and Goyo Mariscal). Boasting a 2-0 record and wins over both Empire (Rob Scapa, Eileen Duffy, Erik Wright and Jim Wright) and Hanalei Bay (Krista Bonaguidi, Ashton Wolf, Taylor Freeman and Ian Schnoebelen), Evergreen is the only undefeated team in competition.
Boasting two of the tournament’s top scorers in Carlitos Galindo (12 goals in two games) and Juan Jo Gonzalez (eight goals in two games), the team has been averaging 12.5 goals per game and yielding a paltry average of just eight goals per game on defense.
Granite Bay, 1-1, isn’t far off the mark behind high-scoring Alvaro Tadeo who trails scoring leader Galindo with 11 goals. Eric Hammon is tied for fifth place in scoring with 8 goals in the last two games. Granite Bay has averaged a respectable 12 goals per game on offense while giving up 9.5 goals per game on defense.
A win by Evergreen will put them into the finals with a perfect 3-0 record while a win by Granite Bay will give both of them 2-1 records and will keep all teams waiting for the outcome of the Empire vs. Hanalei Bay battle. Evergreen and Granite Bay will meet on Field 7 at 10AM.
The second match of the afternoon will take place at 2PM also on Field 7 features Hanalei Bay with a 1-1 record against winless Empire at 0-2.
After losing their opening game of the tournament to Evergreen, 12-7, Hanalei Bay bounced back to hammer Granite Bay, 17-7. With Taylor Freeman averaging 4.5 goals per game and teammate Ashton Wolf averaging 4 goals per game. Hanalei Bay has averaged 10 goals per game on offense while surrendering 14 goals per outing on defense. Empire has the tournament’s number two high scorer with Jim Wright (with 11 goals over two games), but has been unable to mount a successful team effort in the early competition. Ashton Wolf leads the Hanalei Bay attack with 8 goals over the last two games.
The two teams with the best records at the end of the day will meet one another in a 2PM championship game on Empire Polo Club’s 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.