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Final-USPA Fall Plates

Photos to follow

Phillips scores seven goals in leading Aspen Valley to final win

By Alex Webbe

Aspen Valley Polo Club (Gene Goldstein, Wes Finlayson, Brandon Phillips and Roberto Gonzalez) trailed CT Energia (Marc Ganzi, Alessandro Bazzoni, Felipe Viana and Kris Kampsen) early but rode a seven goal day from Brandon Phillips to register a 10-9 win in the final of the 2014 USPA Fall Plates at Grand champions Polo Club in Wellington Sunday afternoon.

CT Energia received one goal by handicap and added a first chukker goal from CT Energia team captain Alessandro Bazzoni for a 2-0 lead. Brandon Phillips got Aspen Valley on the scoreboard with a penalty conversion. CT Energia left the field with a 2-1 edge.

Bazzoni extended the CT Energia lead with his second goal in the second period to make it 3-1. Consecutive goals from Phillips closed out the chukker with the score all even at 3-3.

Both defenses buckled down in the third. Phillips scored for the fourth time to make it 4-3, Aspen Valley while CT Energia was held scoreless. At the end of the first half, Aspen Valley was in possession of a narrow one goal lead.

Gene Goldstein scored the opening goal of the second half as the Aspen Valley lead grew, 5-3. Phillips scored again for a three goal lead, 6-3. Kampsen finally got CT Energia on track with a well-executed neck shot by Kampsen from 30-yards out to cut the lead back to just two goals, 6-4, but Phillips was on fire, with just 21 seconds in the chukker he scored his sixth goal of the match. Aspen Valley was on top, 7-4.

Goldstein and Kampsen traded goals in the fifth period, 8-5, with a penalty conversion from Phillips padding the Aspen Valley lead at 9-5.

Kampsen opened the scoring in the sixth period with a goal from the field, 9-6. Roberto Gonzalez responded with a goal for Aspen Valley, 10-6. Marc Ganzi drilled the ball through the Aspen Valley goal, 10-7, with nearly five minutes left in the game in an effort to rally his teammates. Felipe Viana cut the lead to two goals at the 3:37 mark but that was where the rally stalled. The Aspen Valley defense stepped up and shut down attack after attack. Ganzi ran the ball down the field for the final goal as time expired on the 10-9 Aspen Valley win.

Phillips led all scoring with seven goals (two on penalty shots), and was named MVP for his efforts. Goldstein scored twice and Gonzalez added a goal for the victory. Kampsen led the balanced CT Energia effort with three goals. Bazzoni and Ganzi scored two goals apiece. Viana scored once and the team received one goal by handicap.

Halo Polo’s stallion, Marco Polo, received Best Playing Pony honors. He was played by Marc Ganzi in the third chukker of the game.

La Indiana 8, Palm Beach Polo 4

La Indiana (Avery Chapman, Michael Bickford, Nic Roldan and Juan Bollini) opened the day by dominating a talented Palm Beach Polo team (Glenn Straub, Alejandro Gonzalez, Piki Alberdi and Juancito Bollini) in consolation play for an 8-4 victory.

Palm Beach Polo was spotted two goals by handicap to start the game and was held scoreless for the first four chukkers by a swarming La Indiana defense.

Nic Roldan scored single goals in the each of the opening two chukkers for the only scoring. The game was tied at 2-2. Avery Chapman (substituting for Melissa Ganzi) scored the go-ahead goal for La Indiana. Palm Beach Polo was blanked again and trailed 3-2 at the end of the first half.

Fourth period goals from Roldan and Michael Bickford accounted for all of the scoring. An impotent Palm Beach Polo team fell behind by three goals, 5-2.

Bickford’s second goal of the game came at 4:59 of the fifth, 6-2. Juancito Bollini finally scored a goal from the field for Palm Beach Polo. Roldan closed out the chukker with penalty conversion in the final 47 seconds. The La Indiana lead held at four goals, 7-3, with one chukker left to play.

Piki Alberdi scored on a neck-shot for Palm Beach Polo, but there was no rally in the air. A solid defensive effort by La Indiana was complimented by a closing goal from Roldan with 22 seconds on the clock for the 8-4 win.

Roldan scored five times for La Indiana. Bickford added two goals and Chapman added a goal for the victory. Palm Beach Polo received two goals by handicap and got single goals from Bollini and Alberdi in the one-sided loss.

Casablanca 14, Palm Beach Equine 8

A youthful Casablanca foursome (Grant Ganzi, Patrick Uretz, Jesse Bray and Julio Gracida) led Palm Beach Equine (Leo Mandelbaum, Carlitos Gracida, Guille Aguero and Scott Swerdlin) 6-5 at the end of the first half of the subsidiary final before riding on for a comfortable 13-8 win.

Casablanca received one goal by handicap and watched as Palm Beach Equine scored the first goal from the field, 1-1. Casablanca responded with three consecutive goals for a 4-1 advantage. Jesse Bray scored twice and Patrick Uretz added a goal in the opening period.

Second chukker goals from Leo Mandelbaum and Carlitos Gracida were answered by a single goal from Julio Gracida. Palm Beach Equine cut into the Casablanca lead but trailed by two goals, 5-3.

Mandelbaum and Aguero added single goals in the third period while holding Casablanca to a single goal from Uretz. The lead continued to belong to Casablanca, but the margin was a paper thin one goal, 6-5.

Casablanca stormed onto the field in the second half and scored three quick goals. Grant Ganzi converted consecutive penalty shots for a three goal, 8-5 lead. Julio Gracida’s second goal of the game gave Casablanca a four goal, 9-5 advantage while Palm Beach Equine was blanked.

Fifth period goals from Uretz and Julio Gracida stretched the Casablanca lead to six goals, 11-5. For the second consecutive chukker Palm Beach Equine was unable to mount a successful attack as Casablanca took control of the game.

Ganzi opened the final chukker with his third penalty conversion of the game, 12-5. Carlitos Gracida finally got Palm Beach Equine on the scoreboard again, 12-6. Ganzi scored from the field for a seven goals Casablanca lead with Aguero and Carlitos Gracida scoring the final two goals of the match in a 13-8 Casablanca victory.

Ganzi’s four goals led the Casablanca attack (three on penalty shots). Uretz and Julio Gracida scored three goals each and Bray added two goals for the win. Aguero and Carlitos Gracida scored three goals apiece for Palm Beach Equine. Mandelbaum was credited with two goals in the loss.