A pair of opening goals from Tim Dutta gave #TeamNR (Melissa Ganzi, Tim Dutta, Nic Roldan and Juan Bollini) the early lead against Casablanca (Gene Goldstein, Grant Ganzi, Julio Arellano and Kris Kampsen) in Sunday afternoon’s final of the Spring Challenge Cup at the Grand Champions Polo Club. Casablanca was held scoreless and trailed 2-0 at the end of the first chukker.
Casablanca turned up the heat in second chukker action. Julio Arellano opened the scoring with a goal from the field in the first 30 seconds of play. Teammate Gene Goldstein added another goal to tie the game at 2-2 a minute later. Arellano closed out the chukker with his second goal of the game, giving Casablanca the 3-2 edge after the second period.
Kris Kampsen scored a goal for Casablanca at the 4:11 mark, extending the lead to two goals, 4-2. With 33 seconds left on the clock, Melissa Ganzi cut the lead back to a single goal, 4-3, to end the first half.
Fourth chukker goals from Goldstein and Kampsen had Casablanca on top, 6-3 midway through the fourth chukker. Melissa Ganzi’s second goal of the game cut the Casablanca lead down to two goals, 6-4.
Grant Ganzi (Melissa’s seventeen-year-old son) came alive in the fifth period. The young Ganzi scored his first goal in the opening 27 seconds of the chukker and followed it up with a second goal from the field 90 seconds later, 8-4. Melissa Ganzi and Goldstein traded goals to end the period with Casablanca leading by four goals, 9-5.
The first goal of the sixth chukker belonged to Melissa Ganzi, 9-6. Goldstein countered with a goal of his own with just 3:43 on the clock, 10-6. Two more goals from Melissa Ganzi ended the game with Casablanca riding off with the 10-8 victory.
Goldstein’s four goals led the Casablanca attack. Teammates Kampsen, Arellano and Grant Ganzi added two goals each for the win. Melissa Ganzi’s six goals led the field and earned her MVP honors. Tim Dutta was credited with the other two goals in the loss.
Kampsen’s five-year-old Thoroughbred Gray-roan, Mirava was honored as Best Playing Pony.
Dutta Corp., 11, Power Horse 9
In a balanced and fast-paced subsidiary, Dutta Corp. (Piki Alberdi, Marc Ganzi, Timmy Dutta and J.J. Celis) edged past a competitive Power Horse entry (Walter Scherb, Lucas Lalor, Brandon Phillips and Jason Crowder), 11-9.
Dutta Corp. took the early lead on the strength of two goals from the field from J.J. Celis and single penalty goals from Timmy Dutta (40-yards) and Piki Alberdi (30-yards). Power Horse responded with a pair of goals from Lucas Lalor. It was Dutta Corp with the early lead, 4-2.
Brandon Phillips scored his first two goals of the game in second chukker action. Walter Scherb’s single score was accompanied by shutout defense as Power Horse moved in front, 5-4.
Dutta Corp. returned the favor in third period play. Dutta Corp. held Power Horse scoreless, adding three goals of their own. Two goals from the field from Dutta and a single goal from Alberdi ended the first half with Dutta Corp. in control of a 7-5 score.
Marc Ganzi opened the second half with a goal in the first 20 seconds of play to stretch the lead to three goals, 8-5. Scherb and Crowder scored single goals to end the period with Dutta Corp. guarding a delicate one goal, 8-7 lead.
As the pace quickened, the defenses of both sides improved. Crowder tied the game at 8-8 for Power Horse midway through the fifth chukker. With just 1:58 left in the period, Dutta gave his team the go-ahead goal, 9-8.
Crowder converted a brilliant belly-shot from near the end-line to tie the game at 9-9. Dutta Corp. took the lead back on a 30-yard penalty conversion from Dutta, 10-9, and Alberdi’s third goal of the game cinched the deal for Dutta Corp. in an 11-9 victory.
Fourteen-year-old Timmy Dutta led all scorers with four goals (one on a penalty shot), and was named MVP. Alberdi added three goals and Celis and Ganzi scored two goals apiece for the win. Crowder’s three goals set the pace for Power Horse. Teammates Scherb, Phillips and Lalor each scored twice in a losing effort.
By Alex Webbe