WELLINGTON, FL-May 23, 2013—A big four-goal second chukker gave Audi all the confidence it needed to defeat ELG, 7-6, on Thursday and advance into Friday’s semifinals of the Piaget Memorial Day Cup at Grand Champions Polo Club.
Audi will meet YP.Com at 4 p.m. in the first semifinal game followed by Longfield playing Inner-Continental in the second semifinal game.
The winners advance into Sunday’s season-ending championship game.
The Audi-YP.Com matchup will feature Grant Ganzi of Audi playing his mother, Melissa Potamkin-Ganzi of YP.Com.
“She is a pleasure to play against, she is a good player,” Ganzi said.
Both YP.Com (Melissa Ganzi, David Krantz, Juan Bollini, Mike Azzaro) and Inner-Continental (Gene Goldstein, Alejandro Poma, Brandon Phillips, Carlucho Arellano) are making their 2013 spring circuit debut.
It was Grant Ganzi, 14, a freshman at St. Andrew’s School, who scored two goals and shut out ELG, 4-0, in the second chukker for a 5-2 halftime lead.
“That was a big chukker where we went up 5-2,” Ganzi said. “My two goals helped a little bit. We played well as a team and then it seemed like we took over.”
Audi had a 7-2 advantage before ELG rallied and staged a comeback at the end of the fourth chukker. ELG continued to whittle away at its deficit in the fifth and sixth chukkers.
“In the end it got a little scary, when they came back,” Ganzi said. “Kris Kampsen played a big part. You can never give up on Kris.”
It was the first time Ganzi played with JJ Celis, who led scoring with three goals, and Leo Mandelbaum, who scored one goal. Lucas Lalor scored the other goal.
“It was a nice change,” Ganzi said. “It didn’t really take that long to get the chemistry going. It only took the first chukker to get used to it and I was on a new horse, too. The second chukker I was on a horse I felt confident on and the third chukker as well. The team went well and we just had the chemistry.”
Kampsen scored a game-high four goals for ELG including a penalty goal with 45 seconds remaining to cut Audi’s lead to one. ELG teammate and Wellington graduate Juancito Bollini, 17, added two goals.
“They are a strong four-man team just like us,” Kampsen said. “So when not everybody wins their play, the guy they are playing against is winning their play.
“They played great,” Kampsen said. “Grant came out on fire scoring two of their goals that chukker. If I made that 40-yard penalty shot with 2:30 on the clock we had a chance to turn the game around. But when I missed the 40, game over at that point. We did the best we could do.”
ELG will play Palm House (Glenn Straub, Joey Casey, Tommy Biddle, Carlos Diaz) in the first consolation game on Sunday. The semifinal game losers will play the second consolation game.
Six 12-goal rated teams are competing in the spring season-ending four-day tournament.
The games are free and open to the public.
The 2013 season has been Grand Champions most competitive with four different champions emerging: ELG/Psycho Bunny (Palm City Open), Power Horse (Polo Gear Invitational), Audi (USPA Spring Challenge and Eastern Challenge) and Pony Express (USPA Sun Cup).
GRAND CHAMPIONS SPRING SCHEDULE
May 22-27: The Piaget Memorial Day Cup.
GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB
WHERE: On the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington.
INFORMATION: There are great field side views for tournament action at the home base of pro teams Audi and Piaget. Everyone is welcome to watch polo in a relaxed atmosphere during the spring and fall tournament season and other special events including the International Cup in November, Buzz Welker Memorial Junior Tournament in March, Women’s Championship Tournament and Gay Polo League International Tournament, both in April.