Six teams take partin the opening games of the 2013 Pedro Morrison Memorial Cup
By Alex Webbe
The 2013 Pedro Morrison Memorial Cup got underway Wednesdaymorning with Audi/Excalibur (Michael Donahue, Carlitos Gracida, Nic Roldan andMarc Ganzi) scoring a win over Beluga (Misha Rodzianko, Carlos Baez, TommyBiddle and Joey Casey)in a 10AM game played at Boca Ratonâ€™s Palm City PoloClub.
Audi/Excalibur took advantage of two goals by handicap fromthe 14-goal Beluga foursome to race out to a 7-3 halftime lead on their way toa 10-8 win in the opening game of the Grand Championsâ€™ 2013 Pedro MorrisonMemorial Cup played on the grounds of the Palm City Polo Club Wednesdaymorning.
First chukker goals from Carlitos Gracida and Nic Roldan hadAudi/Excalibur ahead by four goals before Beluga ever got on thescoreboard. Tommy Biddle scored Belugaâ€™sfirst goal on a powerful shot from the field that carried well over 100 yardsfor a score. Gracidaâ€™s second goal ofthe chukker ended the scoring with Audi/Excalibur in the lead, 5-1.
Second period goals from Nic Roldan and Marc Ganzi extendedthe Audi/Excalibur lead to six goals, 7-1. Biddle closed out the chukker with his second goal of the game. Audi/Excalibur continued to lead, 7-2.
The Beluga defense stepped it up in the third period,shutting out the Audi/Excalibur attack for the first time all day, but managedonly a single goal themselves. JoeyCasey converted a short penalty shot just three minutes into the chukker asBeluga continued to trail, 7-3, after the first half of play.
Gracida opened the second half with a goal but Belugaanswered back. A pair of goals fromBiddle in the last two minutes of the chukker cut the Audi/Excalibur lead tothree goals, 8-5.
Misha Rodzianko scored the only goal of the fifth chukker asthe Audi/Excalibur attack ground to a halt. Beluga continued to trail, but cut the Audi/Excalibur lead two goals,8-6, with one chukker left in regulation time.
Gracida and Michael Donahue each scored a goal in the openingtwo minutes of the sixth chukker as Beluga continued to press its attack. Biddle added two penalty goals, but Belugacould pull no closer, dropping the game to Audi/Excalibur, 10-8.
Biddleâ€™s six goals (two on penalty shots) led allscoring. Rodzianko and Casey each addeda goal in a losing effort. Gracida ledthe Audi/Excalibur offense with four goals. Roldan scored twice while Ganzi and Donahue each scored a goal for thewin.
CASABLANCA 10, KIG 9
Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Mike Azzaro andWes Finlayson) received one goal by handicap from KIG (Charlie Armstrong, LeoMandelbaum, Brandon Phillips and Mariano Gracida) and outscored KIG 3-2 in theopening chukker to take an early 4-2 lead in the second match of the PedroMorrison Memorial Cup at Grand Champions Polo Club in Wellington Wednesdayafternoon. Single goals from MarianoGracida and Leo Mandelbaum had KIG leading early, 2-1. A pair of goals from Juancito Bollini andMike Azzaro ended the period with Casablanca in front, 4-2.
Both defenses tightened up in the second chukker, withAzzaro scoring the only goal. Casablancacontinued to lead, 5-2.
Azzaro and Bollini scored single goals in the third toextend the Casablanca lead to 7-2. BrandonPhillips kept KIG from being shutout for the second consecutive chukker with agoal. Casablanca ended the first halfwith a four goal, 7-3 advantage over KIG.
The two teams traded goals in the fourth chukker with Mandelbaum(on a 250 yard run down the field) and Phillips scoring for KIG while GrantGanzi and Azzaro countered with goals for Casablanca. The Casablanca lead held at four goals, 9-5.
Casablanca went ahead, 10-5 with Bollini scoring the onlygoal of the fifth, and it looked as if KIG was dead in the waters. They were held scoreless for the second timein the match.
Undeterred, KIG fought back in the sixth period. On a great individual effort, Gracida carriedthe ball over 160 yards down the field for a goal, 10-6, followed by a goalfrom Mandelbaum to cut the Casablanca lead to three goals, 10-7. Gracida added two more goals in the final twominutes of the game to pull within a goal of Casablanca, 10-9, when timeexpired.
Bollini and Azzaro scored four goals apiece forCasablanca. Ganzi added a goal and theteam received one goal by handicap in the win. Gracida led the KIG offense with four goals. Mandelbaum was credited with three goals andPhillips scored twice in the loss.
PB EQUINE/ELG 12,NEWPORT 9
PB Equine/ELG (Scott Swerdlin, Guille Aguero, Kris Kampsen andAvery Chapman) played Newport (Kaisser Maakar, Gene Goldstein, Tommy Biddle andLuis Escobar) to a 9-9 tie after five periods before producing three sixthchukker goals for the 12-9 victory.
In a slow start, Guille Aguero scored the only goal of theopening period for an unassuming 1-0 lead for PB Equine/ELG.
Two more second chukker goals from Aguero (a 290 yard runfollowing a throw-in 10-yards in front of the PB Equine/ELG goal) and a singlegoal from teammate Kris Kampsen (on a 200 yard race down the field for thescore) were answered by single goals from Tommy Biddle and Luis Escobar and onegoal on a rarely awarded Penalty 1. PBEquine/ELG continued to lead by a single goal, 4-3.
Aguero put PB Equine/ELG on top 5-3 to open the third, butNewportâ€™s Biddle responded with a goal from the field and a 40-yard penaltyconversion to lock it up at 5-5.
Scoring went back and forth in the fourth with Biddlescoring from the field in the opening minute of play. Kampsen answered with a goal for PBEquine/ELG less than a minute later, 6-6. Gene Goldstein scored his first goal of the day on a penalty shot,7-6. Kampsen tied it up once again, scoringwith just 10 seconds left in the chukker, 7-7.
Fifth chukker goals from Biddle (penalty conversion) andGoldstein put them ahead by two goals, 9-7. PB Equine/ELG responded with single goals from Kampsen and Aguero toknot it up once again, 9-9 in the final minute of the period.
Goals were hard to come by in the first half of the finalchukker with neither team being able to break through for a score. Avery Chapman converted a penalty shot at the3:20 mark of the final period to edge Newport 10-9. Kampsen scored the final two goals of thematch as PB Equine/ELG rode off with a hard-fought 12-9 win.
Kampsen led all scoring with six goals. Aguero scored five times and Chapman converted a penalty shot for a goal for PB Equine/ELG. Newportâ€™s Biddle scored three of his team-high five goals from the field. Goldstein scored twice (once on a penalty shot) and Escobar scored once. Newport was also awarded a goal ona Penalty 1.
The Casablanca win will have them facing Paladin (David Krantz, Juan Bollini, Piki Alberdi and Melissa Ganzi) in a 10AM Friday morning game against Casablanca on the grounds of the Palm City Polo Club. Audi/Excalibur will meet PB Equine/ELG in a 4PM match later that day at the Grand Champions Polo Club.