ELG and Palm Beach Equine register USPA National Twenty Goal wins
By Alex Webbe
Competition heated up in Sunday’s USPA National Twenty Goal tournament at the
Grand Champions Polo Club with ELG (Avery Chapman, Guille Aguero, Kris Kampsen
and Tommy Biddle) scoring their second consecutive win as they ran past KIG (Matteo
De Paolis, Jeff Blake, Brandon Phillips and Michel Dorignac) 12-10. The loss was KIG’s
second against no wins.
KIG received one goal by handicap from the 19-goal ELG lineup but fell behind 4-2 after
first chukker play. Avery Chapman scored twice in the opening period with teammates
Guille Aguero and Kris Kampsen adding single goals. KIG was limited to a 60-yard
penalty conversion from Michel Dorignac as they struggled with the ELG attack.
Dorignac scored the first goal of the second period, 4-3, but that was when the KIG
offense stalled. Aguero rattled off three consecutive goals to end the chukker with ELG
extending their lead to four goals, 7-3.
KIG bounced back in the third taking complete control of the field as they rang up three
unanswered goals. Brandon Phillips opened the scoring with a goal from the field in
the first 30 seconds of the chukker, 7-4. KIG was rewarded by a goal from Matteo De
Paolis as a throng of players rode through the ELG goal posts, 7-5. Dorignac cut the
ELG lead to a single goal, 7-6, with the closing goal of the first half as he converted
another 60-yard penalty shot.
The two teams exchanged goals in the fourth with Phillips and Dorignac (penalty goal)
scoring for KIG and Biddle accounting for two ELG goals. ELG maintained their one
goal lead, 9-8.
KIG’s Jeff Blake tied it up at 9-9 just 30 seconds into the fifth chukker, but the rest of the
period belonged to ELG. Kampsen scored twice and Biddle added another goal as ELG
moved in front, 12-9.
Defense took charge in the final chukker with Dorignac scoring the only goal in a 12-10
Dorignac led all scoring with five goals (three on penalty shots). Phillips scored twice
while De Paolis and Blake added single goals in the loss. Aguero led a balanced ELG
attack with four goals. Kampsen and Biddle scored two goals apiece. Chapman scored
twice in the win.
PALM BEACH EQUINE 12, CASABLANCA 11 OT
The 16-goal Palm Beach Equine team (Julio Ezcurra, Carlucho Arellano, Luis Escobar
and Scott Swerdlin) received three goals by handicap from Casablanca (Grant Ganzi,
Sugar Erskine, Mike Azzaro and Hector Galindo) in the day’s second National Twenty
Goal match, and as a result never trailed, but it took an overtime goal from Luis Escobar
to ice the game as Casablanca came up with six goals over the fifth and sixth chukkers
to force the sudden-death overtime.
Goals from Sugar Erskine and Hector Galindo cut into the 3-0 lead that started the
game as a miserly defense kept Palm Beach Equine from scoring. The Palm Beach
Equine lead stood at 3-2 going into second chukker play.
Palm Beach Equine demonstrated some top flight defense of their own in the second
chukker, shutting out the talent-laden Casablanca roster and picking up a goal from the
field from Carlucho Arellano for a 4-2 advantage.
Casablanca and Palm Beach Equine traded goals in the third. Arellano and Luis
Escobar scored for Palm Beach Equine. Mike Azzaro scored twice for Casablanca.
The first half ended with Palm Beach Equine remaining on top of a 6-4 score.
Erskine scored his second goal of the game for Casablanca but goals from Escobar
and Arellano kept Palm Beach Equine in front. With two chukkers left in regulation time
Palm Beach Equine held a three goal lead, 8-5.
Escobar opened the fifth with a goal from the field, 9-5, when Azzaro burst into action.
The former 10-goaler scored three consecutive goals, giving Casablanca cutting the
lead to a single goal, 9-8. Arellano and Ezcurra closed out the chukker with single goals
that kept Palm Beach Equine in the lead by three goals, 11-8.
Sixth chukker action saw a desperate Casablanca attack hacked away at the Palm
Beach Equine lead beginning with a penalty goal from Azzaro, 11-9. Erskine’s third
goal on the day had Casablanca trailing by a single goal with 5:24 left in the chukker.
Palm Beach Equine counter attacks went nowhere as Casablanca continued to pummel
away at the defenders. Galindo tied it up at 11-11 with just two minutes on the clock for
the final goal of regulation play.
The sudden-death overtime chukker got underway after both teams had acquired
fresh horses, and the battle continued. Casablanca seemed poised to strike as three
breakaways were lost on errant shots on goal. Four minutes into the overtime period
Escobar broke loose and raced down the field to score the winning goal, 12-11, for
Palm Beach Equine.
Azzaro led the Casablanca offense with six goals (one on a penalty conversion).
Erskine added three goals and Galindo scored twice in a losing effort. Escobar and
Arellano scored four goals apiece for Palm Beach Equine. Ezcurra added a goal and
the team received three goals by handicap.
USPA National Twenty Goal tournament action continues with a Tuesday contest
between Casablanca (0-1) and Audi (1-0). Semifinals are scheduled to be played on
Thursday, November 21 with the finals on tap for Saturday, November 23rd