Piaget holds on to defeat U.S. Polo Assn. in Aspen Snow Polo final

Piaget holds on to defeat U.S. Polo Assn. in Aspen
Snow Polo final

By Alex Webbe

In a defensively oriented final,
Piaget (Marc Ganzi, Jeff hall and Nic Roldan) eked out a 4-3 win over team U.
S. Polo Assn (Grant Ganzi, Brandon Phillips and Tommy Biddle)  Saturday afternoon in the final of the 2014
Piaget World Snow Polo Championship at Rio Grande Park in Aspen, Colorado.

The opening chukker was all
Piaget with Nic Roldan scoring once from the field and once on a penalty conversion.  The U.S. Polo Assn. was unable to break thru
the Piaget defenses and trailed 2-0 after the first chukker.

Tommy Biddle scored the
first goal of the game in the opening minutes of the second period, converting
a penalty shot to get the U.S. Polo Assn. on the scoreboard, 2-1.  Biddle added the tying goal as the U.S. Polo
Assn. flexed their defensive muscles to end the first half all even at 2-2.

Goals continued to be hard
to come by in third chukker play.  Jeff
Hall scored the only goal of the period on a penalty shot as Piaget galloped
out to a narrow 3-2 advantage. 

Grant Ganzi tied it in the
fourth with his first goal of the day, 3-3. 
With Piaget pressing the attack, a U.S. Polo Assn. foul sent Hall to the
penalty line where he converted the shot for what would be the final goal of
the day.  As the final horn sounded,
Piaget celebrated their 4-3 win and the 2014 Piaget World Snow Polo

Hall and Roldan scored two
goals apiece for the win.  Biddle led the
U.S. Polo Assn. attack with two goals. 
Grant Ganzi scored a single goal in the loss.

Audi 11, Flex Jet 8

Audi (Melissa Ganzi, Kris
Kampsen and Roberto Gonzalez) scored an impressive 11-8 win over Flex Jet
(Tommy Kato, Martin Pepa and Luis Escobar) in spite of the fact that veteran
Juan Bollini had to be replaced by Roberto Gonzalez at the eleventh hour.

Luis Escobar opened the scoring
in the battle for third place on a goal from the field, but the 1-0 Flex Jet
lead would be short-lived.  Roberto
Gonzalez tied it with a goal from the field while consecutive penalty
conversions from Kris Kampsen had Audi in front by two goals, 3-1.  Audi team captain Melissa Ganzi scored the final
goal of the chukker as Audi rode off the field with a 4-1 lead.

Kampsen added two more
penalty goals in the third and teammate Gonzalez tallied his second score of
the game as Audi stretched their lead to five goals, 7-2.  Tommy Kato converted a penalty shot for Flex
Jet to end the first half.

A determined Flex Jet effort
I the third period resulted in three goals as Martin Pepa scored twice and
teammate Escobar added a goal from the field. 
Audi continued to press their attack with Gonzalez and Melissa Ganzi
adding single goals.  With one chukker
left to play Audi remained in the lead, 9-5.

Escobar opened the final
chukker with a goal from the field, 9-6, with Kampsen responding with a goal
for Audi, 10-6.  Pepa’s third goal of the
game cut the Audi lead to three goals, 10-7. 
Melissa Ganzi scored her third goal of the game as the Audi lead grew to
four goals, 11-7.  Escobar tried to rally
the Flex Jet team with his fourth goal of the day, but the day belonged to Audi
as they rode off with the 11-8 win.

Kampsen scored a game high
five goals for Audi.  Melissa Ganzi and
Gonzalez added three goals apiece for the third place finish.  Escobar’s four goals set the pace for Flex
Jet on the day.  Pepa added three goals
and Kato scored once in a losing effort.

The awards ceremonies
followed the last game with Piaget’s Nic Roldan being named MVP for the second
year in a row (he was named MVP last year when he led the St. Regis team to the
title).  He was joined by Audi’s Kris
Kampsen, MVP of the subsidiary final and Aspen Valley Polo Club’s Alejandro
Novillo Astrada, MVP of the consolation match.

The eight-year-old grey
mare Piaget (owned by Halo Polo and played by Marc Ganzi) received Best Playing
Pony honors.