Audi defeats Lucchese in OT, remains perfect in Open play

Audi defeats
Lucchese in OT, remains perfect in Open play

By Alex Webbe

Audi and
Lucchese squared off in a hotly-contested 3pm game that would determine the
seeding for the semifinals of the 2011 Bombardier Pacific Coast Open, with Audi
driving off with the 11-10 overtime win at the expense of the 2010 defending

Jeff Blake
scored the first goal of the game to put Lucchese on top early, but two goals
from the field from Audi team captain Marc Ganzi showed the defending champs
just how quickly the tables can be turned. 
Adolfo Cambiaso scored the final goal of the chukker which ended in a
2-2 stalemate.

erupted in the second frame with four unanswered goals to take a healthy 6-2
advantage.  “I had three great
opportunities to score in the chukker and didn’t,” confessed Ganzi.  “The shots were close, but not through the

chukker goals from Gonzalito Pieres and Carlos Gracida and miserly defense cut
the Lucchese lead to two goals, 6-4 as the first half came to an end.

defenses tightened in second half play. 
Pieres managed to score the only goal of the chukker to cut the Lucchese
margin to a single goal, 6-5, as Audi continued to chase Cambiaso and company.

played really well today,” said Ganzi.  “He
was quick on offense and effective on defense,” he added.  “He was the perfect complement to the team

showed there was no quit in them as they stormed the field in the fifth.  Two goals from the field from Cambiaso and
single goals from Julio Gracida and Blake pushed the Lucchese lead to three
goals, 10-7.  Audi scored on penalty
goals from Ganzi and Pieres, but lost ground with one chukker of regulation
time left to be played.

For the
third time in the contest Audi’s defense kept Lucchese off of the scoreboard as
Pieres converted a penalty goal and Carlos Gracida scored from the field.  A final penalty conversion from Pieres locked
it up at 10-10 as time expired. 

“You really
feel the pressure when there are four minutes left to play and your trailing
Cambiaso’s team by three goals,” said Ganzi, “but we never gave up.”

After a
brief intermission both teams returned to the field, with Lucchese getting the
first run at the goal.  A set play to
Cambiaso was foiled by the Audi defense and they had their run at the Lucchese
goal.  The shot went wide of the goal,
and Lucchese was bringing the ball in once again.  The Audi defense did its job one last time as
Gonzalito drove the ball down the sideboards. 
Carlitos Gracida picked it up and drove a shot downfield to his father.
Carlos Gracida picked it up on the offside as Blake was charging to take him
out of the play, and scored on the nearside for the winning goal with just over
two minutes gone in overtime.

Pieres led
the Audi team with five goals.  Teammates
Ganzi and Carlos Gracida each scored three goals for the victory.

scored five goals for Lucchese.  Blake
added three and Julio Gracida accounted for a pair of goals in the loss.

The victory
gives Audi a perfect 3-0 record and top seed in Thursday’s semifinals.  Audi will play the winner of the
Piaget-Mansour game with Lucchese meeting the winner of the ERG-Grants Farm




“We’re going
to be facing this same team again on Sunday,” said Grants Farm 8-goaler Jeff
Hall after falling to ERG 13-8, “and we just wanted to get through today’s game
without any injuries to horses or players.”

Grants Farm
might have ridden into the match with no sense of emergency in mind, but it was
clear that ERG had different ideas. 
After last Sunday’s 16-10 loss to Lucchese ERG felt that they had
something to prove, and with every member of the team getting on the
scoreboard, they might have accomplished their goal.

Nic Roldan scored
the only goal of the first chukker for a 1-0 lead as both teams took their time
getting their offenses started.

A pair of
goals from Sebastian Merlos (one from the field and one by penalty) in the
second was complimented by shutout defense by ERG as they edged out to a narrow
2-1 advantage.

Merlos added
three more goals in the third and team captain Scott Wood scored his first goal
of the day from the field.  Grants Farm
got a pair of goals from Roldan and a single goal from the field from Jeff
Hall, but it was ERG that rode off the field carrying a two goal, 6-4 edge.

continued to press its attack in the fourth period while Grants Farm seemed
content to play just hard enough to keep the game moving along.  Roldan scored a goal from the field for
Grants Farm.  Two goals from Paco de
Narvaez and a single goal from Merlos ended the chukker with ERG on top, 9-5.

Hall and
Roldan scored the opening goals of the fifth before Miguelito Torres answered
with a goal for ERG.  Roldan’s sixth goal
of the contest ended the chukker with ERG trying to protect a two goal, 10-8
cushion with one chukker left to play.

Two more
penalty conversions for goals from Merlos and another goal from the field from
Wood were scored without any response from Grants Farm, and ERG took the match
in a convincing 13-8 fashion.

“We did what
we wanted to do today,” said Hall.  “We
got some air in the horses and nobody got hurt. 
When Sunday rolls around, we’ll be ready.”

The two
teams are scheduled to meet again on Sunday to decide who will earn the right
to face Lucchese in next week’s semifinals.


In what
amounted to little more than a ride about in the morning contest, Piaget scored
a 4-1 win over Mansour on the strength of three goals from the field from
Melissa Ganzi and a penalty conversion from Miguel Astrada.

sole goal came in the fifth chukker from team captain Ben Soleimani.

Piaget and Mansour
will take the field once again on Sunday to determine who will play Audi in
next Thursday’s Bombardier Pacific Coast Open semifinals.