FlightOptions earns berth in Pedro Morrison Memorial Cup final
Flight Options (Melissa Ganzi, Wes Finlayson, GuilleAguero and Juan Bollini) rolled over Palm Beach Equine (Gene Goldstein, BrandonPhillips, Jeff Blake and Scott Swerdlin) and Palm Beach Polo (Glenn Straub,Alejandro Gonzalez, Kris Kampsen and Roberto Gonzalez) Thursday afternoon in round-robinaction in the opening round of play in the 2014 Pedro Morrison Memorial Cup atthe Grand Champions Polo Club in Wellington.
Palm Beach Equine received ½ goal by handicap and addedthe opening goal from the field from Brandon Phillips, 1½-0. Guille Aguero responded with consecutivegoals (one on a penalty conversion) to give Flight Options the 2-1½ lead. Phillips closed out the first chukker with apenalty goal that put Palm Beach Equine in the lead, 2½-2.
Flight Options took control in the second period of thethree chukker mini-match by scoring three unanswered goals. Aguero scored his third goal of the game on a40-yard penalty shot followed by Wes Finlayson who did the same, 4-2½. Melissa Ganzi closed out the scoring with herfirst goal of the game for a 5-2½ Flight Options advantage with one chukkerleft to play.
Phillips attempted to rally his Palm Beach Equineteammates with a pair of goals in the third that cut the lead to just one-halfgoal, 5-4 ½, but a final goal from Juan Bollini gave Flight Options acomfortable win, 6-4½.
PalmBeach Polo 8, Palm Beach Equine 5½
After losing their opener, Palm Beach Equine held thefield to meet Palm Beach Polo in the second leg of the three-team round-robin.
After receiving a goal by handicap from the 14-goal PalmBeach Polo lineup, Phillips scored the first goal from the field for Palm BeachEquine, 2-0, but then was forced to watch Alejandro Gonzalez reel off fourconsecutive goals (one on a penalty shot) for an early 4-2 lead.
Consecutive goals from Phillips tied it at 4-4, but PalmBeach Polo roared back in the second. Penalty goals from Alejandro Gonzalez and Kris Kampsen ended the secondperiod with Palm Beach Polo on top of a 6-4 score.
Jeff Blake’s first goal of the game cut the Palm BeachPolo lead to a single goal, 6-5, in third period play. Kampsen added two more goals to end the threechukker game with a Palm Beach Polo 8-5 win.
FlightOptions 4½, Palm Beach Polo 2
Both Flight Options and Palm Beach Polo had recordedwins, with the final three chukkers of the round-robin set to determine thefirst of the tournament finalists.
Flight Options received one-half goal by handicap fromPalm Beach Polo, and stretched the lead with an opening goal from MelissaGanzi, 1½-0. Palm Beach Polo was heldscoreless in the opening seven minutes of the match.
Roberto Gonzalez finally got Palm Beach Polo on thescoreboard in the second, but Melissa Ganzi struck for a goal again for FlightOptions to maintain their lead, 2 ½-1.
Flight Options continued to pour it on in the third andfinal chukker of the day. A penalty goalfrom Aguero and another goal from Melissa Ganzi had Flight Options comfortablyahead, 4½-1. With time running out, PalmBeach Polo team captain, Glenn Straub, shepherded the ball down the field foran unopposed goal with seconds on the clock. The game went to Flight Options in a 4½-2 final, boosting them intoSunday’s final.
Play continues in the 2014 Pedro Morrison Memorial cup onFriday with another three team round-robin.
Two-thirty play on Friday will feature CT Energia (MarcGanzi, Alessandro Bazzoni, Nic Roldan and Carlitos Gracida), Casablanca (GrantGanzi, Juancito Bollini, Jeff Hall and Julio Gracida) and Team USPA (JaredSheldon, Patrick Uretz, Mason Wroe, Felipe Viana and Jesse Bray). The winner will face Flight Options in thetournament final on Sunday at 3PM.