US Trust rallied in the second half to capture the US Trust Cup with a thrilling 11-10 overtime victory over Postage Stamp Farm Sunday at Grand Champions Polo Club.
Luis Escobar scored the winning goal in the first minute of sudden death to clinch the victory.
It was the first victory of the fall season for US Trust, featuring father and son Marc and Grant Ganzi, Luis Escobar and Jesse Bray.
Grant Ganzi was named MVP. Ganzi, a member of last year’s winning US Trust Cup team playing for Casablanca, had a team-high four goals, played well defensively in the second half and set up the winning goal with a long pass.
Escobar’s 8-year-old horse, June, was selected BPP.
It was the second consecutive year Postage Stamp Farm (Annabelle Gundlach, Brandon Phillips, Guille Aguero, Leo Mandelbaum), winners of the season-opening Tackeria Invitational, finished runner-up in the US Trust Cup.
In front of a good crowd and worldwide ChukkerTV audience, the two evenly-matched teams battled back and forth in the second half.
Postage Stamp Farm dominated the first half and took advantage of US Trust unforced errors. Trailing 6-3 at the half, US Trust started reeling in Postage Stamp Farm in the fifth chukker.
In the sixth chukker, US Trust took the lead, 10-9, for the first time in the second half, on Grant Ganzi’s 30-yard penalty goal. In a furious finish in regulation, Mandelbaum came up with the tying goal on a well-placed back shot through a crowd of defenders with 1:43 remaining.
With both teams unable to score in regulation, the game was decided in sudden death overtime when Escobar saw an opening, scooped up the ball and scored.
Escobar, a former eight-goaler, is working his way back after a serious polo accident last season at International Polo Club, tossing his mallet in the air in jubilation and celebrating with his teammates.
In addition to Ganzi’s scoring barrage, Escobar scored three goals, Marc Ganzi had two and Bray added one. For Postage Stamp Farm, Aguero led with five goals, Phillips had three goals and Mandelbaum added two.
The tournament marked the debut of Team USPA player Jesse Bray, a talented up-and-coming 5-goal player. The New Zealand-born Bray was a member of Team USPA’s FIP World Polo Championship runner-up team in Chile last March. Bray is competing in his first full fall season at Grand Champions Polo Club.
In the subsidiary game, Sopris Mt. Ranch (Santos Bollini/Riley Ganzi, Wes Finlayson, J.J. Celis, Julio Ezcurra) edged Dutta Corp (Timmy Dutta, Tim Dutta, Carlitos Gracida, Nic Roldan), 9-8. Timmy Dutta, 14, was named MVP after scoring a game-high five goals. Celis led Sopris Mt. Ranch with four goals.
he US Trust Cup was the second of eight fall tournaments. The nine-year-old club is hosting six medium goal and two 20-goal tournaments.
US Trust: Grant Ganzi 1, Marc Ganzi 1, Jessie Bray 4, Luis Escobar 6. Total: 12
Postage Stamp Farm: Annabel Gundlicich -1, Leo Mandelbaum 3, Brandon Phillips 5, Guille Aguero 6. Total: 13
Sopris Mtn. Ranch: Santos Bollini/Riley Ganzi 0, Wes Finlayson 3, Julio Escurra 4, JJ Celis 4. Total: 11
Dutta Corp: Timmy Dutta 0, Carlitos Gracida 4, Nic Roldán 8, Tim Dutta 0. Total: 12
US Trust vs. Postage Stamp Farm
Sopris Mt. Ranch vs. Dutta Corp