WELLINGTON, FL – Battling back from a three-goal deficit during the fifth chukker, Zacaraâ€™s Carlos Gracida scored four consecutive goals to help his team defeat White Birch 13-11 today in the second day of play of the USPA Piaget Gold Cup at International Polo Club Palm Beach.
Nine-goaler Gracida scored two from the field during the fifth and opened the sixth with a penalty shot followed by one from the field. Teammate Mike Azzaro sealed the deal for Zacara he scored two more consecutive goals.
â€œThe team stuck together well,â€ said Azzaro, who with eight goals was the gameâ€™s high scorer. â€œWhite Birch is a tough team. They have four strong players and itâ€™s a good team.â€
White Birch has won 12 Piaget Gold Cups; more than any team since the tournamentâ€™s beginning. The foursome seemed as if they would be a force to be reckoned with again this year as they opened todayâ€™s game with four goals scored by Lucas Monteverde and Mariano Aguerre in the first chukker, leaving the score at 4-1 at the end of the first. But with two chukkers left in the first half, White Birch was not able to maintain itâ€™s opening strength, scoring only one goal in two chukkers, while Azzaro scored four consecutive, leaving the score at 6-5 in Zacaraâ€™s favor at the end of the third-chukker.
After the half, White Birch regrouped and Monteverde widened the gap in his teamâ€™s favor as he scored three consecutive goals followed by another from Aguerre at the top of the fifth and a penalty shot by Monteverde. That would be the last goal scored by White Birch until the end of the sixth, when Inaki Laprida scored at the buzzer.
Piaget Gold Cup action will continue on Saturday when Las Monjitas will take on Lechuza Caracas at noon at International Polo Club.
The Piaget Gold Cup, in its second year at International Polo Club, has been played since 1974 and is one of only three polo tournaments rated at 26 goals in the United States. The other two are the C.V. Whitney and the Stanford U.S. Open Polo Championship.
International Polo Club Palm Beach is located at 3667 120th Avenue South in Wellington and hosts professional polo tournaments until April 20. The premier game of the week is played at 3 PM every Sunday on the Stanford Field and Stadium.
Information can be obtained by calling 561-204-5687 or the Polo Hotline for game updates at 561-282-5290.
Web address, www.internationalpoloclub.com or www.northamericanpololeague.com
WHITE BIRCH 4-0-1-3-2-1 = 11 (6 penalty shot) Lucas Monteverde 7
ZACARA 1-3-2-1-2-4 = 13 (6 penalty shot) Mike Azzaro 8