2008 Grand Champions Spring – Day11

Rocco’s Tacos Wins Final Spring Tournament
By Alex Webbe

Rocco’s Tacos staved off a second half rally by Black Watchto score an 8-7 in the finals of the USPA Grand Champions Polo Club’s SpringChallenge Cup.

The club’s spring tournament was sponsored by Rocco’s Tacosand Tequila Bar in West Palm Beach, and is the last in a series of 14-18 goaltournaments in Wellington.

Led by four goals from the game MVP, Diego Arellano, Rocco’sTacos jumped out to an early 6-1 lead after the first two chukkers of play.

Single goals from Martin Pepa in the first chukker and apenalty conversion by Neil Hirsch in the third period were the extent of theBlack Watch offense in the first half of play.

Rocco’s Tacos took advantage of one goal by handicap, fourgoals from Arellano and single goals from Kris Kampsen and team captain MelissaGanzi to charge out to a 7-2 halftime lead.

An anemic Black Watch managed just three goals in the fourthand fifth chukkers, but a resolute defense held Rocco’s Tacos scoreless.  Black Watch trailed 7-5.

Gonzalo Del Tour’s second goal of the game was followed by ascoring effort from Pepa, and the game was tied at 7-7.

Rocco’s Tacos made a last minute dash to the Black Watchgoal when a defensive foul offered Rocco’s Tacos an easy penalty shot.  Kampsen converted the shot for the winninggoal.

Diego Arellano led all scoring with four goals.  Kris Kampsen scored twice and Melissa Ganziscored a goal in the win.  Rocco’s Tacosreceived one goal by handicap.

Hector Galindo scored once for Black Watch while teammatesNeil Hirsch, Martin Pepa and Gonzalo Del Tour scored two goals apiece. 



Marc Ganzi scored the winning goal in overtime as Newportslipped past a rejuvenated Pony Express foursome on the way to a 9-8 win in theconsolation round of the Spring Challenge Cup Friday afternoon.

Newport received one goal by handicap and quickly added toit on single goals from Marc Ganzi and Tommy Biddle to take an early 4-0lead. 

Pony Express bounced back in the second chukker as J. J.Celis scored twice and Brad Blake converted a penalty shot for a goal.  Newport led 4-3 after two chukkers.

Pony Express shut down the Newport attack for the secondconsecutive chukker, adding goals by J. J. Celis, game MVP Bob Daniels andSteve Dalton to take a 6-4 lead at the end of the first half.

Newport’s Marc Ganzi opened the scoring in the second halfwith a goal, but was quickly by bob Daniels on a beautifully placed 80 yardneck shot just yards from the end line. Newport came back with a well-executed near-side neck shot in front ofthe goal by Gene Goldstein, and the chukker ended with Pony Express on top of a7-6 score.

Dalton’s second goal of the game gave Pony Express an 8-6advantage before goals from Tommy Biddle and Gene Goldstein knotted it at 8-8.

A scoreless sixth chukker forced the game into overtimewhere Ganzi’s third goal of the game delivered the win to Newport, 9-8.

Marc Ganzi led the Newport scoring with three goals.  Teammates Tommy Biddle and Gene Goldsteinadded two goals apiece.  Newport receivedtwo goals by handicap.

J. J. Celis led the Pony Express attack with threegoals.  Brad Blake scored once and BobDaniels and Steve Dalton each added two goals in the loss.

The tournament brings an end to the Grand Champions Polo Club’sspring season.  Tournament is slated tocrank up again in the fall.