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Audi to Face Orchard Hill in C.V. Whitney Cup Final After Tight Win Over White Birch in Semis

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Audi to Face Orchard Hill in C.V. Whitney Cup Final 
After Tight Win Over White Birch in Semis
Rodrigo Andrade on the ball. Photo David Lominska/Polographics.com

Fred Mannix
Photo David Lominska/Polographics.com
WELLINGTON, Fla. - March 4, 2016 - The
Audi Polo Team earned a place in the C.V. Whitney Cup Final, defeating White Birch 9-8 in a fast-paced semifinal Thursday at Lechuza Caracas. Audi will face off against Orchard Hill in the 26-goal tournament final Sunday at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC).

Audi knew what they were in for. "White Birch comes to the game fully prepared. They are super-mounted and talented players," said Audi captain Marc Ganzi. "We watched a lot of video last night. A lot of the goals and the plays that make goals are created by Hilario, so we decided to play them straight up, moving Fred closer in and me further back. That put Fred closer to Ezequiel Ferrario, put Rodrigo on Hilario, Gonzolito on Mariano and me playing sweeper in the back, so nothing got through. We feel we defended really well."

Mannix made the first goal for Audi three minutes into the game. In the second chukker Gonzalo Pieres scored for Audi, and Mannix thrilled the crowd with a full-field run to make his second goal and give his team a two-goal lead. Both teams gave up a fair amount of chances to score on penalties in the third chukker.
"I missed a lot of penalties today," said Pieres. "But as soon as I missed my teammates said, 'Don't worry; let's stand up.' We were always prepared for the next knock-in. That helped a lot because penalties are important; you end up winning games by one or two goals."

Audi stayed on top going into halftime. White Birch's Hilario Ulloa and Mariano Aguerre closed the gap, scoring a combined three goals to trail 5-4 at the end of the first half. In the final chukker it looked as if White Birch might pull off an upset. Ulloa scored on a penalty 4, and then White Birch benefited from a penalty 1. A few seconds later Rodrigo Andrade scored, moving Audi back into a two-goal lead. Ulloa fought back with 2:41 left in the game, again scoring on a penalty 4 and moving White Birch back to a one-goal deficit. With one minute on the clock, Ulloa had one last chance to tie as he roared down the field, but Mannix turned the ball perfectly.

The game was live streamed by 
ChukkerTV, a partner of the USPA Polo Network. Live continuous coverage of the C.V. Whitney Cup continues Sunday, March 6 at 3 p.m., when Audi faces Orchard Hill in the final at IPC. All times are EST.
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The U.S. Polo Association was organized and exists for the purposes of promoting the game of polo, coordinating the activities of its Member Clubs and Registered Players, arranging and supervising polo tournaments, competitions, and games, and providing rules, handicaps, and conditions for those tournaments, competitions, and games including the safety and welfare of participants and mounts. For more information, please visit uspolo.org  
 
Founded in 1890, the United States Polo Association (USPA) is the national governing body for the sport of polo in North America. Proudly celebrating 125 years at this stature, the USPA is currently comprised of almost 300 member clubs, thousands of individual members, and oversees 40 national tournaments.
 
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