By Alex Webbe
It was a real “wild west shootout” Wednesday afternoon n at the Aspen Valley Polo Club as La Karina (Bill Boyd, Carlitos Gracida, Santiago Wulff and Stuart Armstrong) outlasted Los Amigos (Alejandra Foster, Gabriel Crespo, Lucas Lalor and Brian Middleton) 15-13 in a Rocky Mountain Open tournament game.
La Karina got on the board first on a goal from the field from Carlitos Gracida. Santiago Wulff added two more in the first chukker (one on a penalty shot). Los Amigos got all three first period goals from Lucas Lalor to level the score at 3-3.
Lalor converted another penalty shot for a goal in the second, 4-3, but the celebration was short-lived. Consecutive goals from Carlitos Gracida had La Karina in the lead, 5-3.
A determined Los Amigos team showed up on the field for the third chukker. Lalor opened the third period with a goal from the field, for a tie followed by goals from Gabriel Crespo and Alejandra Foster (penalty conversion), 7-5 in favor of Los Amigos.
Wulff and Lalor exchanged goals for the fourth chukker. And at the end of the first half of play, Los Amigos were on top, 8-7.
La Karina arrived on the field in the second half, and promptly put aside the notion that they had lost their ability to win. Fourth chukker play was superbly executed as both offense and defense exceled. Gracida and Stuart Armstrong each scored a pair of goals with Santiago Wulff accounting for one of the five goals that put La Karina back in the lead, 12-8, as Los Amigos were struggling to coordinate their offense.
Los Amigos returned the favor to La Karina as they scored three consecutive goals in the fifth period that went unanswered. La Karina continued to lead, but Los Amigos cut into the lead, 12-11.
In the sixth chukker Wulff flexed his polo muscles once again, scoring three times in the closing minutes of the game for the l5-12 lead. Los Amigos got single goals from Crespo and Brian Middleton, but it wasn’t enough. Brian Middleton scored the final goal for Los Amigos in the 15-13 loss.
The combination of Carlitos Gracida and Santiago Wulff accounted for thirteen of their team’s fifteen goals scored. Wulff and Lucas Lalor led all scoring with thirteen goals (seven for Wulff and six from Lalor). Former 7-goaler Stuart Armstrong scored twice for the win.