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Audi Loses In Overtime, Flight Options Plays Friday In Joe Barry Memorial Cup

polomagazine joebarrymemorial sharonrobbphelpsmedia

Audi's Nico Pieres (4) takes control of the ball against Tonkawa defenders including his brother Gonzalito Pieres (2). Photo by Scott Fisher
WELLINGTON, FL-Jan. 16, 2014----
In a furious fight to the finish, Gonzalito Pieres scored on a penalty-two shot to lift Tonkawa past Audi, 10-9, in a sudden death overtime thriller Thursday in the Joe Barry Memorial Cup.

With winds gusting up to 20 miles-per-hour in bone chilling weather, Grand Champions Polo Club-based Audi (Marc Ganzi, Carlitos Gracida, Nic Roldan, Nico Pieres) dug itself out of a hole in the sixth chukker.
Audi's Nic Roldan (3) steals the ball and heads to goal. Photo by Scott Fisher
Trailing by two goals, Audi tied the game on a Roldan penalty shot (8-8) and went ahead, 9-8, when Roldan stole the ball and Gracida lofted a goal past Tonkawa defenders with 2:18 left in the game in what looked to be the game-winner.

Tonkawa (Jeff Hildebrand, Gonzalito Pieres, Rodrigo Andrade, Tomas Alberdi) came back after a controversial penalty call to send the game into overtime (9-9) on another Pieres penalty-two goal.
Roldan led Audi with six goals including three on penalty shots. Pieres added two goals and Gracida had one.
Audi's Nico Pieres breaks free with the ball with brother Gonzalito Pieres (2) of Tonkawa defending. Photo by Scott Fisher
For Tonkawa, Gonzalito Pieres and Andrade each had four goals and Alberdi had two.

Unlike its' season-opener which Audi won in overtime with a 9-8 victory over Faraway, Audi's unforced errors and missed penalty shots left the team off-balance and out of sync for most of the game.
Audi's Nic Roldan (3) and Nico Pieres (4) pressure Tonkawa's Rodrigo Andrade (3). Photo by Scott Fisher
Andrade, who will play with Audi during the 26-goal season, avoided serious injury in overtime when he tried to ride off an Audi player and toppled out of his saddle. After regaining his composure, he returned to the game.

Audi missed an uncharacteristic fourteen goal attempts, both from the field and penalty line.
Nico Pieres

"We lost some good opportunities in the game," 8-goaler Nico Pieres said. "We had a chance to win the game in the sixth chukker, also.

"It's tough, had we won this game we had a good chance to go to the semis," Pieres said. "We had our chances. Tonkawa played really well in the second half. I didn't like the umpires in the last two chukkers, but not just for us for both teams."

Audi made it to the finals of last year's Joe Barry Memorial Cup before losing to Crab Orchard.

Roldan had his moments in the game. With 46 seconds left in the third chukker, Roldan drove downfield with the ball and nailed a well-angled neck shot from forty yards out to give Audi a 5-4 lead right before the game.

Two chukkers later, Roldan lost his mallet head and continued to defend Andrade and tried to back the ball before Andrade scored to tie the game at 6-6.
Audi's Nico Pieres (4) maintains possession of the ball with teammate Nic Roldan (3) backing him up. Photo by Scott Fisher
"We just played badly, period," Roldan said. "We didn't play good. You always have hope when you go into overtime. We had our chances. We missed four penalties and played like crap."

Grand Champions Polo Club-based Flight Options (Melissa Ganzi, Juan Bollini, Miguel Astrada, Freddie Mannix), after a week off because of rain and scheduling conflicts, plays Lechuza Caracas on Friday at 11:30 a.m. on Field 3 at IPC.

For game recaps, news, features and photos of Grand Champions Polo Club-related events, go to www.grandchampionspoloclub.org.
Audi's Nico Pieres (4) tries to hook Tonkawa's Rodrigo Andrade (3) away from the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher
2014 HIGH GOAL SEASON
JANUARY 9-26: Joe Barry Memorial Cup

JANUARY 29-FEBRUARY 3: Ylvisaker Cup

FEBRUARY 22-MARCH 8: Iglehart Cup

FEBRUARY 14: National Museum of Polo & Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

FEBRUARY 16-MARCH 2: C.V. Whitney Cup

MARCH 5-23: USPA Piaget Gold Cup

MARCH 26-APRIL 20: 110th Maserati U.S. Open Polo Championships
Audi's Nico Pieres (4) with the ball leads the pack downfield. Photo by Scott Fisher
GRAND CHAMPIONS @ PALM BEACH POLO 2014 TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
JANUARY: Metropolitan Cup (5 goals); Aspen Valley Cup (8 goals); The Limited Edition 12-Goal Series.

FEBRUARY: Halo Polo Trophy (5 goals); USPA Cyril R. Harrison Trophy; USPA Sieber Memorial Trophy.

MARCH: Madelon Bourdieu Memorial (5 goals); The Limited Edition 8-Goal Series; USPA Regional President's Cup (8 goals); $50,000 National 12-Goal Tournament; The Top Pony 12-Goal Series; Santa Rita Abierto (16 goals).

APRIL: Las Acacias (5 goals); USPA Association Cup (8 goals); Museum of Polo & Hall of Fame Challenge Cup (12-goals); John T. Oxley Memorial Trophy (16 goals).
Despite being closely defended, Audi's Nico Pieres (4) keeps his eye on the ball. Photo by Scott Fisher

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