Casablanca wins US Trust Cup in OT, 12-11 in a day full of polo By Alex Webbe
Casablanca’s (Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, Mike Azzaro and Wes Finlayson) Mike
Azzaro saved the day for the youthful lineup, scoring the winning goal in overtime, 12-
11, to win the 2013 US Trust Cup at the Grand Champions Polo Club in Wellington, in a
Sunday morning contest.
Casablanca received one goal by handicap from the 13-goal ELG lineup (Avery
Chapman, Marc Ganzi, Nic Roldan and Carlitos Gracida), but quickly gave up the initial
advantage as ELG picked up goals from Nic Roldan and Carlitos Gracida. Casablanca
settled for a single goal from Grant Ganzi on a 40-yard penalty conversion for a 2-2 first
Consecutive goals from Marc Ganzi (penalty conversion) and Carlitos Gracida had ELG
leading 4-2 in second chukker action. Casablanca replied with goals from Grant Ganzi
(penalty goal) and Mike Azzaro, 4-4. Carlitos Gracida and Grant Ganzi closed out the
chukker with single goals for a 5-5 deadlock.
Goals were scarce in third chukker play. After a dozen runs up and down the field with
no results, Casablanca’s Wes Finlayson scored with 33 seconds left in the chukker to
give Casablanca a 6-5 halftime lead.
A refreshed Casablanca foursome raced out onto the field for second half action and
took immediate control of the match. Juancito Bollini and Mike Azzaro scored back to
back goals in the opening minute of the fourth chukker, 8-5. With less than two minutes
left in the period, Grant Ganzi scored his fourth goal of the game. ELG trailed by four,
9-5. A goal by Roldan with just over a minute on the clock helped ELG save face and
kept them in the game, 9-3.
Roldan broke loose in the fifth, scoring three times (once on a penalty conversion).
Juancito Bollini scored Casablanca’s sole goal of the chukker. ELG had cut the lead to
a single goal, 10-9.
Three minutes into the sixth chukker Marc Ganzi tied it up at 10-10, and gave ELG a go-
ahead goal just a minute later on a penalty conversion, 11-10. Mike Azzaro tied it up
at 11-11 with just over a minute left in regulation time and missed a breakaway shot at
goal in the waning seconds forcing the sudden-death overtime.
Forty-three seconds into overtime Azzaro broke free once again, and this time he didn’t
miss. Casablanca celebrated the 12-11 overtime victory.
Roldan led all scoring with five goals. Gracida and Marc Ganzi scored three goals
apiece in the loss. Azzaro and Grant Ganzi each scored four goals for Casablanca.
Bollini was credited with two goals and Finlayson scored once for the win
Mike Azzaro was named MVP while Marc Ganzi’s Lima received Best Playing Pony
AUDI 14, NEWPORT 11
In a following match, Audi (Melissa Ganzi, Leo Mandelbaum, Brandon Phillips and
Juan Bollini) came out on top of a 14-11 contest with Newport (Gene Goldstein, Michel
Dorignac, Luis Escobar and Kaisser Maakar) to capture the 2013 Wellington Chamber
of Commerce Cup, much to the delight of scores of chamber members in attendance.
Audi received one goal by handicap from the 14-goal Newport lineup, but opening
goals from Luis Escobar and Kaisser Maakar gave Newport the early lead, 2-1. Leo
Mandelbaum took control of the game at the three minute mark, however, and scored
three consecutive goals to end the chukker with Audi in front, 4-2.
Second chukker goals from Mandelbaum and Brandon Phillips went unanswered. Audi
left the field with a comfortable 6-2 lead.
Four straight goals from Newport in the third tied it up at 6-6 with Gene Goldstein
scoring twice and Escobar and Maakar adding single goals in the charge. Phillips
converted a penalty shot to end the first half with Audi holding on to a one goal lead, 7-
The two teams exchanged goals in the fourth. Goldstein added two more goals and
teammate Michel Dorignac converted a penalty shot for a goal. Mandelbaum added
two more goals and Phillips scored from the field. Audi continued to lead, 10-9.
Phillips padded the Audi lead with a pair of goals in the fifth (one on a 40-yard penalty
conversion). Dorignac scored once for Newport who trailed, 12-10.
Goldstein cut the lead to a single goal, 12-11, to open the sixth chukker but consecutive
goals from Phillips ended the game with Audi winning, 14-11.
Phillips scored a game high seven times (twice on penalty conversions). Mandelbaum
was credited with six goals (one on a penalty shot). Goldstein scored five goals for
Newport. Dorignac, Escobar and Maakar scored two goals apiece in a losing effort.
BELUGA 10, PALM HOUSE 7
In the final match of the day, Mariano Gracida scored five times in leading Beluga
(Misha Rodzianko, Mariano Gracida, Joey Casey and Carlos Diaz) to a 10-7 win over
Palm House (Glen Straub, Chris Kampsen, Guille Aguero and Charlie Armstrong) in the
2013 Polo Gear Fall Challenge Cup.
Beluga received one goal by handicap, but it was Charlie Armstrong who scored the
first goal from the field for Palm House for a 1-1 tie. Mariano Gracida put Beluga in the
lead with his first goal of the match, 2-1.
Second chukker goals from Glen Straub and Kris Kampsen (a well-placed 100-yard
shot) went unanswered as Palm House moved into the lead, 3-2.
Gracida and Misha Rodzianko scored single goals in the third for Beluga. Palm House
was unable to break through the Beluga defense and trailed at the end of the first half,
Rodzianko and Gracida added single goals in the fourth while holding Palm House to a
single score from Guille Aguero. Palm House trailed by two goals, 6-4.
Aguero opened the fifth period with a goal form Palm House, 6-5. Joey Casey and
Gracida responded with single goals and an 8-5 Beluga advantage.
Gracida and Rodzianko each scored midway through the sixth chukker, 10-5. Aguero
and Straub scored single goals for Palm House as Beluga rode on to win, 10-7.
Gracida’s five goals led all scoring. Rodzianko finished with three goals on the day
and Casey added a goal for the win. Beluga also received one goal by handicap.
Aguero’s three goals led the Palm House attack. Straub scored twice with Kampsen
and Armstrong contributing one goal apiece.