Mariano Gracida scored four times in leading Hawaii Polo Life to a decisive 8-3 win and a berth in the final of the 2015 Rocky Mountain Open at the Aspen Valley Polo Club.

Mariano Gracida scored four times in leading Hawaii Polo Life to a decisive 8-3 win and a berth in the final of the 2015 Rocky Mountain Open at the Aspen Valley Polo Club.

Hawaii Polo Life (Melissa Ganzi, Chris Dawson, Juan Bollini and Mariano Gracida) opened the 2015 Rocky Mountain Open with a resounding 8-3 win over Los Amigos (Paul Foster, Oscar Bermudez, Gabriel Gracida and Alejandro Gonzalez) Friday afternoon on the Mount Sopris polo fields.

Mariano “Nano” Gracida scored the first goal of the game for the early 1-0 lead, but Los Amigos responded with a goal from Gabriel Gracida to level the score at 1-1. Hawaii’s Chris Dawson scored the final goal of the chukker to give Hawaii Polo Life the 2-1 lead at the end of the first chukker.

A 60-yard penalty conversion and a goal from the field by Nano Gracida extended the Hawaii Polo Life lead to three goals, 4-1, as the team play began to click. Chris Dawson scored his second goal of the day giving Hawaii Polo Life a commanding 4-1 lead after only two periods of play.

The Los Amigos defense stepped it up in the third chukker and managed to shut down the aggressive Hawaii Polo Life attack for the first time all day, but they couldn’t produce any offensive punch of their own. Hawaii Polo Life held Los Amigos scoreless and left the field at the end of the first half with a 5-1advantage.

The Los Amigos defense continued to shine in the fourth chukker, holding Hawaii Polo Life to a single goal from Nano Gracida. An impotent attack once again had them scoreless and trailing buy five goals, 6-1, with just two periods left in regulation play.

Paul Dawson’s third goal of the game stretched the Hawaii Polo Life lead to six goals when the Los Amigos offense stirred. Consecutive goals from Paul Foster and Gabriel Gracida ended the chukker with Los Amigos cutting the Hawaii Polo Life lead to four goals, 7-3.

Both defenses dominated the sixth and final chukker with Melissa Ganzi scoring the only goal of the period.as Los Amigos was shut out for the third time in the game and found themselves on the losing end of an 8-3 score.

Nano Gracida led all scoring with four goals. Chris Dawson added three goals and Melissa Ganzi scored once for the win. Gabriel Gracida led the Los Amigos attack with two goals. Paul Foster scored once in the loss.

FlexJet 6, La Karina 4

In the second match of the day, Flex Jet (Riley Ganzi / Ace Boyd, Carlitos Gracida, Lucas Lalor and Stewart Armstrong) and La Karina (Brian Boyd, Grant Ganzi, Jared Sheldon and Brian Middleton) battle one another to a 1-1 tie after the opening two chukkers before FlexJet managed to take control of the game and ride off to a 6-4 victory.

Carlitos Gracida gave FlexJet the early lead with the first goal of the game. Jared Sheldon responded with a goal for La Karina for the 1-1 tie.

Second period action was muted by strong defensive efforts by both sides. Neither team was able to mount an effective attack, and the score remained all even at 1-1.

Jared Sheldon gave La Karina their first lead of the game with the opening goal of the third chukker, 2-1. Consecutive goals from Riley Ganzi gave the upper hand to FlexJet who left the field at the end of the first half with a delicate 3-2 edge.

Steward Armstrong scored his first goal of the game in the fourth chukker, 4-2, and Carlitos Gracida gave FlexJet a three goal lead, 5-2, with his second goal on the day. Grant Ganzi kept the La Karina homes alive with a 30-yard penalty conversion for a goal, but they continued to trail, 5-3.

Stewart Armstrong and Jared Sheldon exchanged goals in the fifth chukker as FlexJet maintained their two goal advantage, 6-4.

A scoreless sixth chukker gave the game to FlexJet, 6-4.

Riley Ganzi, Stewart Armstrong and Carlitos Gracida each scored twice for the win. Jared Sheldon let the La Karina effort with three goals. Grant Ganzi added a goal on a penalty shot in a losing effort.

The FlexJet win boosts them into Sunday’s 3pm final against Hawaii Polo Life. Los Amigos and La Karina will meet on another in Sunday’s subsidiary match at 4:30pm. Both games will take place at the Aspen Valley Polo Club.

The Aspen Valley Polo Club is located at 3275 County Road 100, Carbondale, CO 81623. The games are free of charge and spectators are welcome. The Polo Hotline, (970-710-1663) will be available to offer game times and locations. E-mail correspondence should be sent to aspenvalleypolo@bellsouth.net.

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