Palm House scoresa come-from-behind win in USPA Fall Plates final
By Alex Webbe
Palm House (Glen Straub, Guille Aguero, Kris Kampsen andJuancito Bollini) rallied from a 6-4 halftime deficit to defeat Audi (MelissaGanzi, Kaisser Maakar, Luis Escobar and Juan Bollini) 11-10 in the finals ofthe 2013 USPA Fall Plates at the Grand Champions Polo Club Sunday morning.
Audi received two goals by handicap from the 13-goal PalmHouse lineup, and quickly added to it on a 40-yard penalty goal from KaisserMaakar, 3-0. Glen Straub countered witha penalty goal for Palm House, 3-1. LuisEscobar closed out the chukker with a final goal for Audi and a 4-1 lead.
Palm House picked up second chukker goals from Guille Agueroand Juancito Bollini. Escobarâ€™s secondgoal of the game kept Audi in front, 5-3.
The two teams exchanged goals in the third with Agueroscoring from the field and Escobar adding his third goal on a 60-yard penaltyconversion for a 6-4 Audi halftime advantage.
Palm House stormed back onto the field in the fourth period,scoring three consecutive goals while shutting out the Audi offense. Kris Kampsen opened the scoring with a shortpenalty conversion followed by single goals from Aguero and JuancitoBollini. The two teams left the field atthe end of the fourth chukker with Palm House on the winning end of a 7-6score.
Kampsen extended the Palm House lead to two goals byconverting a penalty shot to open the fifth. Audi regrouped, however, and responded in kind. A pair of goals from Juan Bollini and a goalfrom Escobar put Audi back in the lead, 9-8.
Escobar and Kampsen traded penalty goals to open the sixthand final chukker. Audi remained on top,10-9, when Palm House rallied. JuancitoBollini tied it up at 10-10 with 2:08 on the clock, and Aguero scored the winninggoal for Palm House with just over a minute left in regulation play. Time expired with Audi trying desperately totie it up and force overtime. Palm Housecelebrated the 11-10 victory when the final horn sounded.
Juancito Bollini and Aguero scored four goals apiece for thewin. Kampsen converted two penalty shotsfor goals and Glen Straub scored once (penalty goal). Escobarâ€™s five goals led all scoring (two onpenalty conversions). Juancito Bolliniwas credited with two goals and Maakar scored once. Audi also received two goals by handicap.
Guille Aguero was named MVP while Zulu, a seven-year-old Dark Bay mare was honored as Best PlayingPony. Zulu is owned by Halo Polo and was played by Aguero.
ELG 6, Beluga 5
In the tournament round-robin consolation, ELG (Marc Ganzi,Carlitos Gracida, Nic Roldan and Avery Chapman) registered wins over Beluga(6-5) and Casablanca (4-3) for a third place finish.
ELG used a five goals first chukker to down Beluga (Misha Rodzianko,Mariano Gracida, Brandon Phillips and Joey Casey) 6-5 in the opening threechukkers of the consolation round-robin
Nic Roldan scored the first two goals of the match and threein the chukker for ELG. Teammates Marc Ganziand Avery Chapman each scored a goal to go up 5-0 in the opening chukker.
Misha Rodzianko accounted for the only goal of the secondperiod as their defense kept ELG off of the scoreboard. Beluga continued to trail, 5-1.
Beluga rallied for four goals in the final chukker (two fromRodzianko and single goals from Mariano Gracida and Brandon Phillips), but asingle goal from ELGâ€™s Chapman proved to be the difference in the 6-5 ELG win.
CASABLANCA 7, BELUGA6
Wes Finlayson scored the first goal of the second leg of the round-robin to put Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, Leo Mandelbaum, Mike Azzaro and Wes Finlayson) in the lead, 1-0 over Beluga, but the chukker wasfar from over. Joey Casey scored twogoals for Beluga and teammate Phillips added a goal for a 3-2 lead. Mike Azzaro scored Casablancaâ€™s second goalof the chukker.
The Casablanca offense came alive in the second period withFinlayson adding two more goals from the field and Grant Ganzi and LeoMandelbaum each scoring once. Adisciplined Casablanca defense kept Beluga from scoring as they moved ahead bythree goals, 6-3.
Third chukker goals from Casey, Phillips and Rodzianko keptthem in the game, but the single goal from Azzaro proved to be the differencein the 7-6 Casablanca win.
ELG 4, CASABLANCA 3
Casablanca and ELG had both won a leg of the dayâ€™sround-robin, and would face off in the final three chukkers to determine thewinner.
ELG scored first on goals from Carlitos Gracida and NicRoldan. Casablanca responded with a100-yard shot for a goal from Wes Finlayson and a goal from the field from LeoMandelbaum. It was all even at 2-2 afterthe opening chukker.
Defense was the byword in the second period with the teamsexchanging single goals. Marc Ganziscored first for ELG, but a goal from Finlayson tied it at 3-3 as the chukkerended.
With the teams racing up and down the field in the finalperiod of play, blocked shots and missed opportunities had ELGâ€™s Chapmanscoring the winning goal in a 4-3 contest.