Pony Express and Audi Score Wins
By Alex Webbe
In a defensive display, Bob Daniels and Nick Roldan scored two goals apiece and Brad Scherer scored once as the Pony Express team downed Southfields 5-3 in the opening round of the 2008 Tackeria Spring Invitational.
In a game that was short on offense but had plenty of defensive muscle to it, single goals from Roldan and Scherer were all the scoring output that either team could muster in the first three chukkers of play with Pony Express sitting on top of a modest 2-0 score.
With a blistering Florida sun baking horse and rider alike, both teams rode up and down the field only to be turned away as they approached the opponent’s goal.
Roldan made it 3-0 with his second goal of the game before a goal from Sunny Hale finally got Southfields on the scoreboard. The chukker ended with Pony Express holding on to a 3-1 lead.
Pony Express stretched out the field in the fifth chukker, with team captain Bob Daniels scoring twice to make it 5-1. A foul near their own goal cost Pony Express, however, with Hale converting the shot. Both teams left the field with Pony Express ahead 5-2.
The final chukker reverted to the close checking defensive battle that took over the game in the first half. A last ditch drive by Southfields’ J. J. Celis accounted for the final goal in the 5-3 contest, delivering Pony Express into Sunday’s finals.
The final competition of the day in the five-team field came in the shape of a three-team, round-robin, with the winner finding itself facing Pony Express in Sunday’s finals.
Black Watch received Â½ by handicap from Audi in the opening three chukkers, but could manage no more than a single goal. Audi scored a 2-1 Â½ win in another round of great defensive efforts. An opening goal from Audi’s Melissa Ganzi was answered by a goal from Gonzalo Del tour for a 1-1 tie, Tommy Biddle’s penalty conversion sealed the 2-1 win in the first round of play before they headed to the sidelines to allow GTP Polo to have a shot at Black Watch.
Neil Hirsch scored first, but Kris Kampsen countered for GTP for a 1-1 tie after the first period of play. Del Tour added two more goals in the second period before Hector Galindo made it 4-1, Black Watch.
Both teams struggled to maintain focused attacks in the final chukker of play, and Black Watch (1-1) scored its first win.
Audi returned to the field to face GTP for the final three chukkers in the round-robin, and GTP seemed to have found the trigger with Carlucho Arellano scoring the first goal. Scores from Biddle and Juan Bollini gave Audi a brief 2-1 lead before Cali Garcia knotted it at 2-2. That was when Juan Bollini took control of the match. Three consecutive goals from Bollini, complimented by stalwart defensive play, sealed the deal for Audi, Marc Ganzi’s penalty conversion was all the offense GTP could muster in the final chukker as Audi secured a berth in the finals against Pony Express on Sunday.
The consolation round will offer another round-robin competition with Black Watch, GTP Polo and Southfields.
Audi Black Watch GTP Polo
Melissa Ganzi 0 Neil Hirsch 0 Marc Ganzi 0
Juan Bollini 7 Martin Pepa 4 Kris Kampsen 6
Tommy Biddle 7 Hector Galindo 8 Cali Garcia 4
Leo Mandelbaum 2 Gonzalo Del Tour 3 Carlucho Arellano 5
16 15 15
Pony Express Southfields
Bob Daniels 0 Diego Arellano 1
Nick Roldan 8 John Gobin 6
Brandon Phillips 5 Sunny Hale 3
Brad Scherer 2 J. J. Celis 5