Palm House scores a come-from-behind win in USPA Fall Plates final
By Alex Webbe
Palm House (Glen Straub, Guille Aguero, Kris Kampsen and Juancito Bollini) rallied
from a 6-4 halftime deficit to defeat Audi (Melissa Ganzi, Kaisser Maakar, Luis Escobar
and Juan Bollini) 11-10 in the finals of the 2013 USPA Fall Plates at the Grand
Champions Polo Club Sunday morning.
Audi received two goals by handicap from the 13-goal Palm House lineup, and quickly
added to it on a 40-yard penalty goal from Kaisser Maakar, 3-0. Glen Straub countered
with a penalty goal for Palm House, 3-1. Luis Escobar closed out the chukker with a
final goal for Audi and a 4-1 lead.
Palm House picked up second chukker goals from Guille Aguero and Juancito Bollini.
Escobar’s second goal of the game kept Audi in front, 5-3.
The two teams exchanged goals in the third with Aguero scoring from the field and
Escobar adding his third goal on a 60-yard penalty conversion for a 6-4 Audi halftime
Palm House stormed back onto the field in the fourth period, scoring three consecutive
goals while shutting out the Audi offense. Kris Kampsen opened the scoring with a
short penalty conversion followed by single goals from Aguero and Juancito Bollini. The
two teams left the field at the end of the fourth chukker with Palm House on the winning
end of a 7-6 score.
Kampsen extended the Palm House lead to two goals by converting a penalty shot to
open the fifth. Audi regrouped, however, and responded in kind. A pair of goals from
Juan Bollini and a goal from Escobar put Audi back in the lead, 9-8.
Escobar and Kampsen traded penalty goals to open the sixth and final chukker. Audi
remained on top, 10-9, when Palm House rallied. Juancito Bollini tied it up at 10-10 with
2:08 on the clock, and Aguero scored the winning goal for Palm House with just over a
minute left in regulation play. Time expired with Audi trying desperately to tie it up and
force overtime. Palm House celebrated the 11-10 victory when the final horn sounded.
Juancito Bollini and Aguero scored four goals apiece for the win. Kampsen converted
two penalty shots for goals and Glen Straub scored once (penalty goal). Escobar’s five
goals led all scoring (two on penalty conversions). Juancito Bollini was credited with
two goals and Maakar scored once. Audi also received two goals by handicap.
Guille Aguero was named MVP while Zulu, a seven-year-old Dark Bay mare was
honored as Best Playing Pony. Zulu is owned by Halo Polo and was played by Aguero.
ELG 6, Beluga 5
In the tournament round-robin consolation, ELG (Marc Ganzi, Carlitos Gracida, Nic
Roldan and Avery Chapman) registered wins over Beluga (6-5) and Casablanca (4-3)
for a third place finish.
ELG used a five goals first chukker to down Beluga (Misha Rodzianko, Mariano
Gracida, Brandon Phillips and Joey Casey) 6-5 in the opening three chukkers of the
Nic Roldan scored the first two goals of the match and three in the chukker for ELG.
Teammates Marc Ganzi and Avery Chapman each scored a goal to go up 5-0 in the
Misha Rodzianko accounted for the only goal of the second period as their defense kept
ELG off of the scoreboard. Beluga continued to trail, 5-1.
Beluga rallied for four goals in the final chukker (two from Rodzianko and single goals
from Mariano Gracida and Brandon Phillips), but a single goal from ELG’s Chapman
proved to be the difference in the 6-5 ELG win.
CASABLANCA 7, BELUGA 6
Wes Finlayson scored the first goal of the second leg of the round-robin to put
Casablanca in the lead, 1-0 over Beluga, but the chukker was far from over. Joey
Casey scored two goals for Beluga and teammate Phillips added a goal for a 3-2 lead.
Mike Azzaro scored Casablanca’s second goal of the chukker.
The Casablanca offense came alive in the second period with Finlayson adding two
more goals from the field and Grant Ganzi and Leo Mandelbaum each scoring once.
A disciplined Casablanca defense kept Beluga from scoring as they moved ahead by
three goals, 6-3.
Third chukker goals from Casey, Phillips and Rodzianko kept them in the game, but the
single goal from Azzaro proved to be the difference in the 7-6 Casablanca win.
ELG 4, CASABLANCA 3
Casablanca and ELG had both won a leg of the day’s round-robin, and would face off in
the final three chukkers to determine the winner.
ELG scored first on goals from Carlitos Gracida and Nic Roldan. Casablanca
responded with a 100-yard shot for a goal from Wes Finlayson and a goal from the field
from Leo Mandelbaum. It was all even at 2-2 after the opening chukker.
Defense was the byword in the second period with the teams exchanging single goals.
Marc Ganzi scored first for ELG, but a goal from Finlayson tied it at 3-3 as the chukker
With the teams racing up and down the field in the final period of play, blocked shots
and missed opportunities had ELG’s Chapman scoring the winning goal in a 4-3