May 22nd, 2012 Add comment
Longfield Polo and Santa Clara score opening wins in USPA Sun Cup
By Alex Webbe, US Senior Correspondent
Ironically it was rain and wet grounds that forced the relocation for the opening round of play in Grand Champion's 2012 USPA Sun Cup, with action getting underway Friday afternoon with a field of five teams and a round-robin at the Palm City Polo Club in Boca Raton.
In the opening three chukkers of the round-robin Longfield Polo (Hannah Buchan, Jason Crowder, Juan Bollini and Melissa Ganzi) scored a 3-1 win over Ruby Q/Equine Law (Brian Street, Avery Chapman, Kris Kampsen and Diego Coscio) with Jason Crowder scoring two of the Longfield goals (one from the field and one on a penalty shot). Juan Bollini scored the team's third goal while holding Ruby Q/Equine Law to a single first chukker goal from Avery Chapman.
Ruby Q/Equine Law held the field for the second three chukkers but had little more success, falling to Pony Express/Tuff Rider (Bob Daniels, Timmy Sharma, Tomas Goti and Omar Sosa) by an identical 3-1 score.
The scoring for Pony Express/Tuff rider was evenly distributed with Tomas Goti and Omar Sosa scoring single goals from the field while Bob Daniels converted a penalty shot for a goal. Brian Street scored the sole goal for Ruby Q/Equine Law.
In the final round of the competition, Longfield jumped out to an early 3-1 first chukker lead on a pair of goals from Crowder and a goal from Bollini. Goti got Pony Express/Tuff rider on the scoreboard with a single goal from the field.
Crowder ran the score up to 4-1 with his second penalty goal of the competition as Pony Express/Tuff rider was unable to break through the Longfield successfully.
A goal from the field from Timmy Sharma and a penalty goal from Pony Express/Tuff Rider's Bob Daniels fell short as time expired on the rally and Longfield rode off with the 4-3 victory and a round-robin win.
SANTA CLARA 10, CINQUE TERRE/HAWKS 5
Santa Clara (Joaquin Panelo, J. J. Celis, Nacho Badiola and Francisco Escobar) manhandled Cinque Terre/Hawks (Julian Mannix, Alessandro Bazzoni, Joey Casey and Lucas Lalor) 10-5 to capture the open berth in Sunday's Sun Cup finals against Longfield Polo.
Cinque Terre/Hawks received one goal by handicap from the 13-goal Santa Clara team but failed to score as Francisco Escobar scored a goal from the field and a goal on a penalty shot for the early 2-1 lead.
Second chukker goals from Nacho Badiola, Joaquin Panelo and Escobar extended the Santa Clara lead to 5-1 before Cinque Terre/Hawks responded. Alessandro Bazzoni finally showed some offense for his team, but at the end of the period, Cinque Terre/Hawks trailed by three goals, 5-2.
A scoreless third period saw shots go wide and plays fall apart as neither team could organize a successful drive. Santa Clara continued to lead at the half, 5-2.
For the second time in a row Santa Clara was unable to score. Cinque Terre/Hawks cut into the lead, but could do no more than convert a penalty shot (Lucas Lalor). Cinque Terre/Hawks cut into the lead but Santa Clara was still in control with a 5-3 advantage and two chukkers left to play.
Badiola scored twice from the field in the fifth for Santa Clara while Cinque Terre/Hawks managed a single penalty goal from Joey Casey. The Santa Clara lead was back to three goals, 7-4, when the bell sounded.
Casey scored a goal from the field for Cinque Terre/Hawks in the final chukker but three goals from Santa Clara finished the deal. Single goals from Panelo, Escobar and J. J. Celis closed the deal in a 10-5 Santa Clara victory.
Escobar led all scoring with four goals. Badiola scored three times; Panelo accounted for two goals; and Celis scored once for the win.
Casey was credited with two goals for Cinque Terre/Hawks. Bazzoni and Lalor added single goals and the team received one goal by handicap.