Power Horse and Pony Express in Sun Cup Finals
By Alex Webbe
Pony Express emerged victorious in a three team round-robin Friday afternoon and will play against Walter Scherbâ€™s Horse Power team in the finals of the 2011 USPA Sun Cup Sunday morning at 11 am at the Grand Champions Polo Club in Wellington.
Piaget fell to La Pasion/Port Mayaca 4-3 in the first leg of the round-robin, with Tracee Brunetti leading the team with two goals. Single goals by J. J. Celis and Stevie Orthwein were all the team needed to eke out a one goal win.
Chris Nevins tallied two goals for Piaget with team captain Marc Ganzi supplying a single penalty conversion for the final Piaget goal. The victory gave La Pasion/Port Mayaca a narrow 4-3 lead and the opening lead in the three-team competition.
La Pasion/Port Mayaca stayed on the field to face a powerful Pony Express team that featured Carlos Gracida, but could do no better than a 5-5 tie in the three-chukker segment of play.
Tracee Brunetti and Mariano Fassetta scored two goals apiece for La Pasion/Port Mayaca, getting a penalty goal from Stevie Orthwein. After trailing early, Pony Express got final chukker goals from team captain Bob Daniels and Lucas Lalor for the 5-5 draw.
The final leg of the match pitted Pony Express against Piaget, with Pony Express riding off with the 5-3 win and a berth in Sunday morningâ€™s 2011 USPA Sun Cup finals.
Gene Goldstein scored first for Pony Express, but goals from Chris Nevins and Sugar Erskine had Piaget taking an early 2-1 lead. Pony Express got goals from Daniels and Lucas Lalor in the second for a brief 3-2 lead, but Marc Ganzi tied it up at three goals apiece on a fine run with his first goal of the match.
Lalor put Pony Express back on top, 4-3, in the final period with Gracidaâ€™s buzzer-beating goal capturing the win and lifting the Pony Express team into the Sunday morning finals.
POWER HORSE 13, ELANGBENI RANCH 11
Earlier in the day, a balanced Power Horse attach coordinated a balanced attach to defeat Elangeni Ranch 13-11 in first round play in Sun Cup play.
Elangeni Ranch received two goals by handicap and quickly ran the score to 4-0 on a pair of goals from Juan Chavanne before Power Horse responded. Goals from Power Horseâ€™s Tommy Biddle and Juan Bollini were answered by Chavanneâ€™s third goal of the chukker for a 5-2 lead. Melissa Ganzi scored from the field and Biddle converted a penalty shot to end the opening chukker with Elangeni ranch holding a 5-4 edge.
The second chukker belonged to Power Horse with Walter Scherb chipping in a pair of goals and Bollini and Ganzi each scoring a goal for an 8-5 lead while shutting out the Elangeni Ranch offense.
Scherb and Ganzi each scored their third goal of the contest as Power Horse galloped out to a 10-5 lead in the third period, but Elangeni Ranch stormed back. It was Chavanne once again who put up two goals to end the first half with Power Horse holding on to a 10-7 lead.
Three more goals and a stifling defense that held Elangeni Ranch scoreless for the second time in the game had Power Horse in front by six goals, 13-7 after four chukkers. Ganzi added her fourth and fifth goals of the game while Scherb tallied for the fourth time, and a frustrated Elangeni Ranch team left the field looking for an answer.
Power Horse took a defensive stance in the last two chukkers of the contest with Ruben Gracida and Chavanne adding single goals in the fourth, cutting the lead to four goals, 13-9. Single goals from Chavanne and Joey Casey cut the lead to a pair of goals, 13-11, but that would be as close as Elangeni Ranch would get. It was Walter Scherbâ€™s Power Horse team that would take top honors in the morning contest.
Melissa Ganzi led the Power Horse team with five goals. Walter Scherb scored four times while tommy Biddle and Juan Bollini added a pair of goals apiece in the win.
Chavanneâ€™s seven goals led the field in scoring, with teammates Ruben Gracida and Joey Casey scoring single goals in the loss.