Audi wins first round of 2013 USPA Fall Plates, 11–10

Audi wins first round of 2013 USPA
Fall Plates, 11-10

By Alex Webbe

Audi (Melissa Ganzi, Kaisser Maakar, Luis Escobar and Juan
Bollini) held off a late Beluga (Misha Rodzianko, Mariano Gracida, Brandon
Phillips and Joey Casey) rally to register a hard-fought 11-10 win in the
opening match of the 2013 USPA Fall Plates at the Grand Champions Polo Club
Thursday afternoon.

Audi received three goals by handicap from the 14-goal
Beluga lineup and quickly ran the score up to 5-0 on the strength of two goals
from Luis Escobar.  Beluga was unable to
break through the Audi defense and left the field after the first chukker
without a goal.

Escobar’s third goal of the game had Audi on top, 6-0.  The goal was scored on an impressive 70-yard+
penalty shot.  Brandon Phillips finally
got Beluga on the scoreboard less than a minute later with a 40-yard penalty
goal, 6-1.  Audi team captain Melissa
Ganzi scored their seventh goal of the game followed by a final goal from
Phillips, scored from the throw-in with 28 seconds on the clock.   Audi
continued to lead, 7-2.

Escobar’s fourth goal of the game stretched the Audi lead to
six goals, 8-2.  Phillips converted
another penalty shot for a goal, and the first half ended with Audi leading,

Juan Bollini opened the second half with his first goal of
the game, 9-3.  Two more goals from
Escobar ended the chukker with Audi holding a commanding 11-3 lead over a
struggling Beluga lineup.

The final two chukkers belonged to Beluga as they outscored
Audi 7-0.

Fifth chukker play had every member of the Beluga lineup
scoring.  Joey Casey opened the period
with a 200 yard run for a goal less than a minute into play.  Phillips, Mariano Gracida and Misha Rodzianko
each added a goal.  Audi was held
scoreless but continued to lead, 11-7.

Beluga added three more goals in the final chukker, cutting
the lead to one goal with just over a minute to play.  Phillips cut the lead to three goals, 11-8,
in the opening minute of the sixth, 11-8. 
With 2:03 left in the period, Phillips scored on a 40-yard penalty shot,
11-9, and Casey scored the final goal of the game with 1:07 left in regulation
time.  Audi managed to stop the bleeding
in time, however, and escaped with an 11-10 victory.

Escobar scored six goals for Audi (one on a penalty
shot).  Ganzi and Bollini each added a
goal and the team received three goals by handicap.  Phillips scored three of his team high six
goals on penalty shots.  Casey added two
goals and Gracida and Rodzianko each added a goal in the loss.

USPA Fall Plates competition will continue on Friday with a
3:30PM round-robin that will begin with ELG (Avery Chapman, Marc Ganzi, Carlitos
Gracida and Nic Roldan) facing Palm House (Glen Straub, Kris Kampsen, Guille
Aguero and Juancito Bollini).  Casablanca
(Grant Ganzi, Wes Finlayson, Leo Mandelbaum and Mike Azzaro) will take the
field for the following three chukkers against the loser of the first game
followed by a contest with the winner of the first game.