Aug 09, 2016 6:15 PM

FMB Trophy shot

With six teams competing in the USPA America Cup, the tournament came down to the wire as four teams entered into the final round of play with a 1-1 record. Farmers & Merchants Bank (FMB) sat on top with a 2-0 record and won their final game, putting them at 3-0. Restoration Hardware emerged from the final round to take on FMB.

Farmers & Merchants Bank Restoration Hardware
Dan Walker 2 Costi Caset 4
Joaquin Panelo 4 Jason Crowder 6
Lucas Criado 8 Santi von Wernich* 6
Herndon Radcliff 2 Ben Soleimani A
*replacement for injured Adam Snow

Farmers & Merchants Bank 2016 USPA America Cup Champions
Farmers & Merchants Bank celebrate their 2016 USPA America Cup victory

The final score of the 2016 USPA America Cup read 10-7 in favor of Farmers & Merchants Bank. Offensive mastermind Lucas Criado, organized his team to highlight the strengths of each individual player and counted on them to do their part. With nine of their 10 goals scored from the field, his strategy paid off. Restoration Hardware capitalized on penalty shots to stay neck and neck with FMB in the first half. Four penalty conversions by Jason Crowder tied Restoration Hardware with FMB by the beginning of the third chukker.

After going into halftime down by a goal, Restoration Hardware jumped into the fourth chukker ready to even the score out. Great teamwork by Restoration Hardware held off FMB from scoring in the entirety of the fourth chukker and led to a tying goal by Crowder. Though it seemed the two teams were evenly matched going into the fifth chukker, FMB proved otherwise. Criado lined his team up to dominate and both he and Dan Walker each scored two goals from the field. A single goal by Herndon Radcliff brought their tally to 10, with FMB totaling five goals for the chukker. Crowder scored one from the field for Restoration Hardware to bring the score 10-6 in favor of FMB.

Farmers & Merchants Bank Joaquin Panelo 2016 USPA America Cup
Farmers & Merchants Bank's Joaquin Panelo rides to goal.

Restoration Hardware attempted to gain momentum early in the sixth chukker to overcome the four-goal FMB lead. FMB stuck to their opponents, however, and focused solely on their defensive strategy to protect their lead. Crowder scored the only goal of the chukker and with a final score of 10-7, FMB garnered their second high-goal win of the season.

Paba 2016 America Cup Best Playing Pony Lucas Criado
Lucas Criado's mare Paba recieved Best Playing Pony honors.

Joaquin Panelo, a young up-and-coming star, commented on the strategy successfully executed by FMB the past two tournaments. “I feel that the advantage we have is our team has four players, we can all hit the ball and score. When we start moving the ball, hitting it one time and running it, makes it easier on all of us. During the fifth chukker, we really tried to pass and shoot on the goal and it worked out for us in the end,” stated Panelo.

Criado’s fifth chukker mare Paba won her second Best Playing Pony award of the summer. Criado was also awarded Most Valuable Player.

Final Stats