ELG wins USPA National 20-Goal opener, 14-11 By Alex Webbe
ELG (Avery Chapman, Kris Kampsen, Guille Aguero and Tommy Biddle) took
advantage of one goal by handicap from the 20-goal Piaget team (Melissa Ganzi,
Jeff Hall, Piki Alberdi and Juan Bollini) and galloped out to a 6-5 halftime lead before
running away with a 14-11 win in the opening match of the 2013 USPA National 20-
Goal Tournament at Wellington’s Grand Champions Polo Club Wednesday afternoon.
Piaget’s Jeff Hall opened the game with a goal from the field to tie it up at 1-1 (ELG
started with one goal by handicap) but ensuing goals from Guille Aguero and Kris
Kampsen ended the chukker with ELG in the lead, 3-1.
Tommy Biddle’s first goal of the game put ELG on top by three goals, 4-1 while a
vigilant defense kept Piaget off of the scoreboard for the first seven minutes of the
second chukker. An ELG penalty in the final seconds of the period sent Hall to the
penalty line where he converted a 30-yard shot to end the chukker. ELG continued to
Piaget team captain Melissa cut the ELG lead to a single goal, scoring in the first minute
of the third. It would be three minutes of scoreless play until Aguero extended the ELG
lead back to two goals, 5-3, with a score from the field. Consecutive goals from Hall
(penalty goal) and Piki Alberdi tied it at 5-5 with 1:32 left in the chukker. Kampsen
closed out the first half with his second goal of the day for a 6-5 advantage with 34
seconds on the clock.
Piaget struck first in the second half on a goal from Alberdi to knot the score at 6-6,
but that was when ELG took over. Consecutive goals from Biddle, Kampsen (penalty
conversion) and Aguero (on a 250 yard run) had ELG in possession of a 10-6 lead
when the horn sounded.
Aguero scored to stretch the ELG lead to five goals, 11-6, in the opening 30 seconds
of the fifth chukker when Piaget answered back. Hall scored consecutive goals (one
from the field and one on a penalty shot) to cut the ELG lead back to three, 11-8. Biddle
made good on a beautifully executed nearside neck shot for a goal, 12-8, but two more
goals from Hall (one on a penalty shot) ended the period with Piaget trailing by just two
Biddle opened the sixth chukker with a goal from the field, 13-10, as the air seemed to
be coming out of the Piaget rally. Hall converted another penalty shot for a goal, 13-11,
but Aguero scored the last goal of the game for the 14-11 ELG victory.
Hall led all scoring with eight goals (five on penalty conversions). Alberdi scored twice
and Ganzi added a goal in the loss. Aguero was credited with six goals for ELG. Biddle
scored four times and Kampsen added three goals (one on a penalty shot). ELG also
received one goal by handicap.
USPA National 20-Goal tournament competition will continue on Friday, November 15
with Audi (Marc Ganzi, Carlitos Gracida, Nic Roldan and Carlos Gracida) facing Grand
Champions Polo Club (TBA, Julio Ezcurra, Carlucho Arellano and Luis Escobar) in a
1:30PM contest. In a following 3:30PM match, KIG (Bash Kazi, Brandon Phillips, Michel
Dorignac and Jeff Blake) will meet Piaget (0-1).
The six teams competing have been separated into two divisions, with Audi,
Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, Hector Galindo, Sugar Erskine and Mike Azzaro) and Grand
Champions in the West Bracket and ELG, KIG and Piaget in the East Bracket. The
finals have been scheduled to be played on Saturday, November 23rd