Audi and Alegria go to 2–0 in Piaget Gold Cup play

Audi and Alegria go to 2-0 in Piaget
Gold Cup play

By Alex Webbe

Audi (Marc Ganzi, Gonzalito Pieres, Rodrigo Andrade and
Gonzalo Del Tour) Opened the morning play in the 2014 USPA Piaget Gold Cup at
the International Polo Club by winning a 10-9 squeaker over Flight Options (Melissa
Ganzi, Eduardo Astrada, Miguel Astrada and Alejandro Astrada) in what to all
who attended was a “family affair”.

With Audi’s Marc Ganzi riding-off wife Melissa Ganzi as the
two teams battled for control of the ball, Flight Options was fighting to even
their 0-1 record while the Audi team, 1-0, was hoping to score their second
consecutive win against no losses.

Audi 10-goaler Gonzalito Pieres scored the first goal of the
game just over a minute into the opening chukker on a penalty conversion, 1-0,
but Flight Options fought back with Miguel Astrada scoring the first goal of
the game from the field at 4:21 and following it up with a 60-yard penalty
conversion with just 1:57 left in the chukker for a 2-1 lead.

Second period play had Pieres scoring his second goal of the
game in the opening minute, 2-2.  Eduardo
Astrada kept flight Options on top, 3-2, just two minutes later, on a goal from
the field.  The two teams rode out the
balance of the chukker in a scoreless duel. 
Flight Options maintained their one goal lead.

Brazilian 8-goaler Rodrigo Andrade scored his first goal of
the game at the 6:11 mark of the third chukker to tie it up at 3-3.  Teammate Pieres gave Audi the halftime lead
with a goal from the field with 1:08 left in the period.  At the end of the first half of play Audi
rode off the field with the 4-3 edge.

After nearly three minutes of play in the fourth, Miguel
Astrada tied it up at 4-4.  A minute
later he connected on a 60-yard penalty shot to put Flight Options back in the
lead, 5-4.  Eduardo Astrada’s second goal
of the contest extended the Flight Options lead to two goals, 6-4 with less
than three minutes in the chukker.  Andrade
cut the lead to a single goal with a well-executed neck shot with just 17
seconds on the clock.  With two chukkers
left in regulation time, Flight Options once again held a fragile one goal
lead, 6-5.

Eduardo Astrada widened the Flight Options lead with his
third goal of the game in the opening 24 seconds of the fifth, 7-5.  Gonzalo Del Tour cut the lead back to a single
goal just over a minute later with his first goal of the day, 7-6.  Pieres tied it up with a penalty shot at the
3:02 mark and gave Audi the lead, 8-7, with a second penalty goal at 1:37 for
the final goal of the chukker.

Alejandro Astrada scored consecutive goals in the opening
two-and-a-half minutes of the sixth chukker as Flight Options leap-frogged Audi
back into the lead, 9-8, but penalties would prove to be their undoing.  Pieres converted a penalty shot at the 2:23
mark to tie it up at 9-9, and then score the winning goal on another 30-yard
penalty shot with just 16 seconds left ion the clock, for the 10-9 win.

Pieres led all scoring with seven goals five on penalty
shots).  Andrade scored twice and Del
Tour added a goal for the victory. 
Miguel Astrada scored four goals (two on penalty shots) for Flight
Options.  Eduardo Astrada added three
goals and Alejandro Astrada was credited with two goals in the loss.

The win keeps Audi undefeated at 2-0 while flight Options
taxied off the field with an 0-2 record.


Mariano Aguerre’s return to the Alegria lineup (Julian
Mannix, Clemente Zavaleta, Mariano Aguerre and Hilario Ulloa) was met with
success as the former 10-goaler took the leadership role on the field as the
team took an early lead that they carried throughout the game in an 11-10 win
over Orchard Hill (Steve Van Andel, Santiago Chavanne, Pablo MacDonough and
Matias MacDonough).

Hilario Ulloa scored the first goal of the game just 19
seconds into play, and added another goal at the 5:51 mark for the early 2-0
lead.  A pair of penalty conversions from
Clemente Zavaleta was countered by a 60-yard penalty shot from Matias
MacDonough.  At the end of the first
chukker Alegria held a commanding 4-1 advantage over Orchard Hill.

Alegria team captain Julian Mannix scored twice from the field
to open the second period, 6-1, when Orchard Hill’s offense seemed to find
itself.  Matias MacDonough converted a
40-yard penalty shot and 10-goaler Pablo MacDonough closed out the chukker with
a goal from the field at the 29 second mark. 
Alegria continue to lead by three goals, 6-3.

The two teams traded goals in the third.  The MacDonough brothers each scored a goal
for Orchard Hill with Mariano Aguerre and Zavaleta countering with single goals
for Alegria.  At the end of the first
half Alegria continued to hold a three goal advantage over Orchard Hill, 8-5.

The Orchard Hill defense showed up in the fourth
chukker.  A shutout defensive performance
combined with goals from Pablo MacDonough and Matias MacDonough (penalty goal)
cut the Alegria lead down to a single goal, 8-7.

The defensive postures continued through the fifth.  Ulloa scored just 30 seconds into the
chukker, 9-7, but Orchard Hill fought back. 
An Alegria foul resulted in an Orchard Hill 40-yard penalty goal from
Matias MacDonough.  The chukker ended with
Alegria holding on to the 9-8 lead.

Goals from Zavaleta and Aguerre tot the sixth chukker
underway with Alegria boasting a three goals lead, 11-8 with just 3:48 left to
play.  Matias MacDonough converted a penalty
shot with 2:36 left to play, cutting the lead to two goals, 11-9.  A goal from the field from Matias Macdonough
brought Orchard Hill to within a goal of the lead, 11-10, but that would be
where it would end.  Alegria would ride
off the field with the victory and a 2-0 record.  Orchard Hill was saddled with its second
consecutive loss, 0-2.

A balanced Alegria attack had Zavaleta leading the team with
four goals (three on penalty shots). 
Ulloa scored three times and Aguerre and Mannix added two goals
apiece.  Matias Macdonough led the field
with seven goals on the day (six on penalty conversions).  Pablo MacDonough added three goals in a
losing effort.