Casablanca beats Audi 12-10 in a rain-delayed match
Story By Alex Webbe | Photos By Alex Pacheco
A heavy rain caused the interruption of play between Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, Sugar Erskine, Mike Azzaro and Hector Galindo) and Audi (Marc Ganzi, Carlitos Gracida, Nic Roldan and Carlos Gracida) Tuesday afternoon with the score all even at 4-4 with less than two minutes left in the 2013 USPA National 20-goal tournament at the Grand Champions Polo Club in the second chukker. After the resumption of play on Wednesday, Casablanca lurched out to an 8-5 halftime lead for an eventual 12-10 victory.
Audi received one goal by handicap from the 19-goal Casablanca team and picked up single goals from Nic Roldan and Carlos Gracida in the opening chukker. Mike Azzaro got Casablanca on the scoreboard with their only goal and trailed Audi, 3-1.
Azzaro took control of the ball in the second period as he scored three consecutive goals to tie, 3-3, and then take the lead, 4-3. Roldan made a run at the Casablanca goal but was stopped on the goal line by Grant Ganzi. A trailing Marc Ganzi tapped it over the goals line, however, to tie it up at 4-4.
Upon resumption of play, the two teams played out the balance of the unfinished chukker with no more scoring, ending the second period all even at 4-4.
Azzaro scored the opening goal of the third chukker followed by a pair of goals from teammate Grant Ganzi for a 7-4 advantage. Roldan got Audi on the scoreboard with a penalty goal, 7-5, but Azzaro closed out the chukker with his sixth goal of the game for an 8-5 halftime lead.
Roldan got the Audi offense rolling in the fourth chukker with a goal from the field. 8-6. An Audi goal sent Grant Ganzi to the penalty line where he converted a shot for a goal, 9-6. Sugar Erskine’s first score of the afternoon extended the Casablanca lead to four goals, 10-6. Marc Ganzi scored on a penalty shot for Audi, 10-7, with Erskine scoring the final goal of the chukker for an 11-7 Casablanca lead.
Marc Ganzi (penalty goal) and Erskine traded goals in a sublimated fifth chukker. Casablanca continued to lead by four goals, 12-8.
Audi staged a mini-rally in the final period of play, registering goals from Roldan and Carlos Gracida while Casablanca was content to watch. The final horn sounded with Casablanca riding off with the 12-10 victory.
Azzaro led all scoring with six goals. Grant Ganzi and Erskine scored three goals apiece in the win. Roldan led the Audi attack with four goals, Marc Ganzi scored three times (twice on penalty shots) and Carlos Gracida was credited with two goals. Audi also received one goal by handicap.
Play in the 2013 USPA National 20-goal tournament is slated to continue on Thursday, November 21 with an 11AM semifinal contest between Audi and Piaget followed by a second semifinal match between Casablanca and ELG.