Aug 03, 2021 9:56 PM

Lucchese's Keko Magrini reaching for the ball against Antelope.
Lucchese's Keko Magrini rpops the ball forward as an Antelope player reaches for the hook.

Story courtesy of Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club

The last weekend of July determined the teams who qualified for the Farmers & Merchants Bank Silver Cup® Semifinals (Friday, August 6) and the USPA America Cup® Final (Sunday, August 8). All six teams had a lot on the line during the past Sunday games and they all came out in full force with something to prove.

The first game of the day took place between Lucchese (John Muse, Kristos ‘Keko’ Magrini*, Facundo Obregon, Jeff Hall) and Antelope (Grant Palmer, Segundo Saravi, Tomas Garcia del Rio, Santiago Trotz) with both teams needing the win to help their standing for the semifinals. Lucchese put the first two goals on the board with some dynamic polo between Magrini and Hall. Penalty shots helped keep Antelope in the game with two conversions from Garcia Del Rio in the first half. After the third chukker, Lucchese held a 5-3 advantage over Antelope. Staging a comeback in the fourth chukker, Antelope scored a gorgeous goal off the mallet of Palmer and two more goals from Garcia del Rio. However, Lucchese had a goal from each player in the fifth chukker to put them in the lead yet again. Lucchese held on for the victory with a final score 12-9.

Klentner Ranch's Jacob Klentner lining up a swing against Farmers & Merchants Bank.
Klentner Ranch's Jacob Klentner lining up a swing against Farmers & Merchants Bank.

In the second game, both Farmers & Merchants Bank (Daniel Walker, Lucitas Criado, Lucas Criado, Matt Walker) and Klentner Ranch (Jacob Klentner*, Justin Klentner, Santiago Toccalino, Jesse Bray*) had already secured a spot in the semifinals. Regardless, they both battled it out for bragging rights and confidence. Farmers & Merchants Bank took the lead in the first half 7-6 but Klentner Ranch turned it on in the second half, especially Santiago Toccalino, who scored seven goals by himself in three chukkers. The result was 16-11 in favor of Klentner Ranch.'s Tomas Alberdi focusing intently on the ball.'s Tomas Alberdi focusing intently on the ball.

In the 7:00pm ET featured match, (Ben Soleimani, Santiago Wulff, Ignacio Laprida, Tomas Alberdi*) met Santa Clara (Federico Escobar, Lucas Escobar*, Nico Escobar*, Juan Curbelo). Juan Curbelo took the place of Luis Escobar on the family team of Santa Clara. had a good first half by capitalizing on the new team makeup of Santa Clara by catching them on some fouls and converting four penalty shots. After a good half-time pep-talk, Santa Clara came back in the fourth chukker with two goals from Curbelo and a penalty conversion from Lucas Escobar. It came down to the last chukker with some very strong play from Santa Clara that won them the game 11-10.

At the end of the day the Farmers & Merchants Bank Silver Cup® Semifinals were set. On Friday, August 6, Farmers & Merchants Bank will go up against Lucchese at 3:00pm ET/12:00pm PT and Klentner Ranch will face off against Antelope at 7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT. The final of the USPA America Cup® on Sunday, August 8 will take place between Santa Clara and The semifinals and final will be livestreamed exclusively on Global Polo TV. The Farmers & Merchants Bank Silver Cup® Final is slated for Sunday, August 8 at 7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT.

*Kristos 'Keko' Magrini, Lucas Escobar and Nico Escobar are Active Team USPA members. Jesse Bray is a Graduating Team USPA Member and Jacob Klentner and Tomas Alberdi are Team USPA Alumni. Team USPA is a USPA program designed to enhance and grow the sport of polo in the United States by identifying young, talented American players and providing mentored training and playing opportunities leading to a pool of higher rated amateur and pro players and the resultant giveback to the sport of polo.

All photos courtesy of ©David Lominska.