Audi wins La Martina Cup at Grand Champions May 11, 2008

Audi Wins La Martina Cup
By Alex Webbe

Brandon Phillips scored four of his game high five goals in the last two chukkers as Audi scored an 11-9 win over GTP Polo to capture the La Martina Spring Invitational Cup at Grand Champions Polo Club Sunday, May 11.

“It was a tough game,” said Phillips after the game. “We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but we managed to hold the lead throughout the game.”

Audi scored early on goals from Phillips, Juan Bollini and team captain Melissa Ganzi enroute to an early 3-0 lead. Melissa’s goal followed an impressive 150-yard run to goal with the ball while Phillips converted a penalty shot for his first goal of the game.

GTP rallied with goals from Hector Galindo and Marc Ganzi, but left the field trailing 3-2.

Bollini opened the scoring in the second chukker when he adeptly intercepted a pas on the GTP 60 yard line and carried it in for a score. J. J. Celis made it 5-2, Audi, by adding a goal. Kris Kampsen got GTP on the scoreboard before the chukker ended, but Audi held on to 5-3 advantage.

Kampsen cut the lead to a single goal, but the Audi defense shut down any other scoring efforts GTP mounted. Bollini’s third goal of the game ended the chukker with Audi on top of a 6-4 halftime score.

Both defenses tightened in the second half with Hector Galindo scoring the only goal of the fourth period, and Audi was guarding a 6-5 lead going into the fifth chukker.

Once again, Melissa Ganzi got away with the ball and scored for Audi, but GTP came right back with a goal from husband Marc, and the lead remained at a single goal, 7-6. Two consecutive goals from Phillips (one from the field, one by penalty conversion) gave Audi a 9-6 lead. Kampsen managed to score with time running out, and the chukker ended with Audi leading 9-7.

Marc Ganzi opened the final chukker with his third goal of the game, but Phillips stepped up with two straight goals to put Audi ahead 11-8. With time expiring, Galindo scored the final goal of the game, but it would be Audi who would hoist the trophy over their heads during the trophy presentation on the strength of an 11-9 win.

Phillips led all scoring with five goals. Juan Bollini scored three times and Melissa Ganzi added two goals. J. J. Celis scored once in the win.

Hector Galindo, Marc Ganzi and Kris Kampsen each scored three goals in the loss.

In earlier action, John Gobin scored the winning in the first minute of a sudden-death overtime period as Pony Express snuck past a determined Newport team, 8-7.
“Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every now and then,” Gobin said in a self effacing manner after the game.

The goal came on the end of a 90 yard pass from Nick Roldan. Gobin’s first hit carried the ball to the left of the goal where he sped to make a beautiful near-side neck shot for the winning goal.

Bob Daniels and Brad Scherer scored the first tow goals of the game as Pony Express jumped out to a 2-0 lead, as Newport was unable to mount any effective opening chukker attack.

Goals from Newport’s Gene Goldstein and Carlucho Arellano tied it briefly, but a second score from Daniels put Pony Express ahead 3-2.

Defense ruled the third period with Arellano scoring the only goal of the chukker to even it at 3-3 at the end of the first half.

Gene Goldstein accounted for the only goal in the fourth frame to lead 4-3 at the end of the fourth.

Nick Roldan tied it in the fifth chukker, but goals from Gene Goldstein and Sunny Hale pushed the Newport lead to 6-4. Another goal from Daniels cut the Newport lead to 6-5 as the period ended.

John Gobin tied it in the opening minutes of the sixth chukker, but Newport’s Tommy Biddle’s goal put his team back on top, 7-6. With five seconds left in regulation time, Newport fouled deep in its own territory. Team captain Bob Daniels converted the 30-yard penalty shot to knot it at 7-7 and force the overtime.

“It was an easy shot,” Daniels shrugged, notching his four goal of the day, and forcing the overtime.

In the opening minute of the overtime period, Nick Roldan drove a deep pass downfield to a galloping John Gobin. A well executed neck-shot ended the game.

“Nobody likes to lose,” said Newport’s Sunny Hale, reflecting on the game. “It might have looked good from the sidelines, but it doesn’t feel very good.”

Bob Daniels led all scorers with four goals. John Gobin scored twice while teammates Nick Roldan and Brad Scherer added single goals for the win.

Gene Goldstein led the Newport attack with three goals. Carlucho Arellano scored twice and Sunny Hale and Tommy Biddle each scored a goal.