Port Mayaca Wins Pedro Morrison Memorial Cup in 10-9 Final
By Alex Webbe
Port Mayaca emerged victorious over a game Cinque Terre polo team Sunday afternoon to capture the 2010 Pedro Morrison Memorial Cup at the Grand Champions Polo Club in a 10-9 battle that went down to the final 37 seconds of play.
Cinque Terre received one goal by handicap from the 15-goal Port Mayaca foursome, but gave up the first two goals of the game to Stevie Orthwein (penalty conversion) and Steven Scott to trail 2-1. Ensuing goals from Nic Roldan and Marc Ganzi (penalty shot) had Cinque Terre leading 4-2 until Scottâ€™s second goal of the chukker cut the Port Mayaca deficit to a single goal, 4-3.
Defenses on both sides tightened up in the second chukker, and in spite of a number of well-coordinated drives up and down the field, neither team scored, leaving Cinque Terre in the lead, 4-3, after two chukkers.
Port Mayaca managed to get its attack back on track in the third, getting a pair of goals from Orthwein while keeping Cinque Terre off of the scoreboard for the second consecutive chukker. The first half ended with Port Mayaca taking a 5-4 lead to the sidelines with them.
Just as quickly as Port Mayaca took the lead, Cinque Terre took it back, but not without a price. Just under two minutes into the fourth chukker, Nic Roldanâ€™s horse fell, pitching the 8-goaler to the turf. After a brief time out, South African 7-goaler Sugar Erskine was brought in to replace Roldan, and the game continued.
Erskine made his presence known almost immediately, converting a tying penalty goal for the Cinque Terre side. Lucas Lalorâ€™s first goal of the game put Cinque Terre ahead, 6-5, and Erskineâ€™s second goal of the chukker ended the scoring with Cinque Terre out in front, 7-5, holding Port Mayaca scoreless.
Port Mayaca charged onto the field in the fifth period and battled for control of the ball almost immediately. Single goals from Orthwein and Scott were complimented by heads up defense, and the chukker ended in a 7-7 tie with one chukker left to play.
Marc Ganziâ€™s third goal of the game (penalty conversion) gave a short-lived lead to Cinque Terre, 8-7, before Port Mayaca responded. A beautifully executed deep angle shot from Leo Mandelbaum from seventy-five yards out tied it again at 8-8. And a penalty goal from Orthwein had Port Mayaca back in the lead, 9-8.
Erskine knotted it up again at 8-8 as the clock continued to run down. With just 37 seconds in the chukker, J. J. Celis broke free of the Cinque Terre defense and carried the ball over 150 yards down the field to score the winning goal.
â€œI thought we could have played better,â€ lamented Port Mayaca 3-goaler Mandelbaum. â€œWe missed a few key plays,â€ he added, â€œand it cost us earlier in the game.â€
Orthwein led the Port Mayaca team with five goals. Scott scored three times and Mandelbaum and Celis added single goals in the win.
Erskine ended up with four goals for Cinque Terre. Marc Ganzi added three scores and Lalor and Roldan scored a goal apiece in the loss.
Mandelbaum was named MVP while Celisâ€™s five-year-old Bay mare, Joy, received Best Playing Pony honors.
PIAGET 17, ELANGANI RANCH 8
In a game in which everything went right for Piaget and everything seemed to go wrong for Elangani Ranch, Piaget ran away with a one-sided 17-8 win.
Playing without team captain, Brian Street (suffered a goring by a buffalo), langani Ranch gave Piaget two goals by handicap, and gave up two unanswered first chukker goals to fall behind 4-0.
The two teams swapped goals in the second chukker, with Melissa Ganzi scoring her second of the game and Kris Kampsen getting on the scoreboard with a goal. Hector Galindo and Joey Casey scored single goals for Elangani Ranch. Piaget held on to a 6-2 lead.
Casey and Galindo added single goals again in the third but Melissa Ganzi added two more goals from the field for Piaget for an 8-4 halftime advantage.
â€œThe horses felt good today,â€ said Ganzi after the game, â€œeverything was going right today.â€
With Piagetâ€™s Lauren Duffy cheering from the sidelines, Gene Goldstein added two more goals for the white-shirted Piaget team. Casey and Matias Sosa responded with single goals for Elangani Ranch, trailing Piaget 10-6 after four chukkers of action.
Casey scored his fourth goal of the match in the fifth, but Piaget slapped them down with four goals of their own. Melissa Ganzi added two more goals with teammates Goldstein and Kampsen putting Piaget on top of a commanding 14-7 score.
Goldstein opened the final chukker with his fifth goal of the game and Melissa Ganzi notched her seventh and eighth goals of the game for a 17-7 lead. Sosa scored the only goal of the period for Elangani Ranch, falling to Piaget by the one-sided score of 17-8.
Melissa Ganziâ€™s eight goals led all scoring on the day. Goldstein added five goals and Kampsen scored twice in the win. Piaget received two goals by handicap.
Casey led the Elangani Ranch scoring efforts with four goals. Galindo and Sosa scored two goals apiece.