Lucchese Stands 2-0 After 13-12 Win Over Audi

Lucas Lalor and Nico Pieres. Photo: Liz Lamont Images/Phelps Media Group.
Lucas Lalor and Nico Pieres. Photo: Liz Lamont Images/Phelps Media Group.

January 14, 2015 - Wellington, FL - The International Polo Club Palm Beach's Joe Barry Cup continued Wednesday in Wellington, Florida, with Lucchese taking Audi 13-12 at Everglades Polo Club and Tonkawa trouncing CT Energia 10-5 at IPC.
 
Lucchese                   Audi
John Muse A                Marc Ganzi 1
Magoo LaPrida 8          Lucas Lalor 5
Nico Pieres 8                Nic Roldan 8
Andres Weisz 4            Freddie Mannix 6 

The Lucchese/Audi match was a "game of eights" from start to finish, as 8-goalers Nic Roldan (Audi), Nico Pieres and Magoo LaPrida (both Lucchese) dominated the action. Roldan scored seven of Audi's 12 goals, with Freddie Mannix contributing three and Marc Ganzi two. Pieres banged in 11 of Lucchese's 13 goals, scoring in every chukker. (Lucchese's other two points came from Andres Weisz.) LaPrida didn't score, but his handoffs and consistent tag-team work with Pieres enabled Lucchese to clinch a firm lead in the second chukker and ride it out to the final horn.

From all appearances in the first chukker, however, the teams were evenly matched. Roldan and Pieres each scored twice on penalties. Mannix contributed a goal on a smoothly played long drive, and for a brief time Audi held a one-point lead (3-2) at the end of the first chukker.

Nic Roldan and Magoo LaPrida. Photo: Liz Lamont Images/Phelps Media Group.
Nic Roldan and Magoo LaPrida. Photo: Liz Lamont Images/Phelps Media Group.

But from that point on, it was a different game entirely. Lucchese came back with a vengeance, riding toward goal as though being chased by a swarm of bees. In a display of consummate teamwork, Pieres patiently waited for his team to align perfectly on either side of the ball before he strategically passed it to Weisz. With a slick reverse neckshot, Weisz shuttled the ball along the ground and scored, giving Lucchese a two-point lead. That defining moment set the tone for the rest of the game: Lucchese was in it to win it, just as it was in its last game, when it took CT Energia 13-11.

Nonetheless, Audi persevered, at times tightening the gap to one point. Mannix swooped in out of nowhere, snatched the ball from LaPrida (who had picked it up on a backshot from Pieres) and handed it off to Roldan, who scored. Pieres quickly countered, zigzagging the ball at warp speed all the way down the field to score, giving Lucchese a three-point lead at the top of the third chukker. 

In a great effort by the entire team, Audi took out several Lucchese defenders as Roldan hit a long ground drive to score on a penalty. 

Freddie Mannix and Nico Pieres. Photo: Liz Lamont Images/Phelps Media Group.
Freddie Mannix and Nico Pieres. Photo: Liz Lamont Images/Phelps Media Group.

Roldan promptly followed up his own act with a nearside pickup, making another goal with one minute remaining in the first half. Audi seemed to be picking up momentum as the third chukker closed with Lucchese leading 8-7.

Roldan continued his onslaught in the fourth chukker. He scored twice, briefly tying the game at 9 all. But Lucchese dug its heels in, with Pieres whacking in two goals in quick succession.

LaPrida said he felt the fourth chukker was the most crucial part of the game. "I think in the first chukker we started playing good. The third chukker was bad for us, and then the fourth (was) good again. That's when we really started to play good again, and I think that was the key (to our win)." 

Although Audi didn't score in the fifth chukker, (which ended 12-9 for Lucchese), it had some stellar moments in the sixth. After a goal by Pieres, Audi rallied to score the last three goals of the match, two of them put in by Mannix. Ganzi - who consistently played above his 1 handicap - scored from 90 yards out on a three-quarter neck shot. The match ended 13-12 for Lucchese. 

Freddie Mannix, Andres Weisz, Nic Roldan. Photo: Liz Lamont Images/Phelps Media Group.
Freddie Mannix, Andres Weisz, Nic Roldan. Photo: Liz Lamont Images/Phelps Media Group.

After the game, both LaPrida and Pieres complimented their opponents. "I think they're a really good team," said LaPrida. "We knew it was going to be really hard, so we just tried to be really on them in defense and try to play as a team. I think we did really good."

Pieres concurred. "Audi likes to run, and they are really good with the ball, so we had to mark them quite good and not give the ball away," he said. In his estimation, it all came down to teamwork. "It was really good between the four of us - all four really good players." 

Teamwork was a big subject in the Audi tent after the game, with Ganzi and Mannix reflecting on what had just gone down. Mannix characterized the situation this way: "It's a team game, and I think in the end, collectively as a team we played sub-par. We can play better. Credit to the other team. I think Lucchese is a really good team. They have two strong players in Magoo and Nico. We gave a good effort, but we needed a little bit more teamwork out there."

Mannix added that he felt both teams were relatively well-matched. "It's not from lack of effort that we didn't win today. It just feels like we couldn't score when we needed to score. I don't know what the reason was; it just wasn't enough today." 

Ganzi was matter-of-fact in his assessment. He said he felt his team "played okay, (but) nothing particularly special. The team has to go well. It's not about individuals. If we don't play collectively as a unit, and if we don't play intelligently, the result is what you see on the scoreboard." 

Nick Manifold, Jeff Blake, Inaki Laprida, Kris Kampsen, Alessandro Bazzoni. Photo: Liz Lamont Images/Phelps Media Group.
Nick Manifold, Jeff Blake, Inaki Laprida, Kris Kampsen, Alessandro Bazzoni. Photo: Liz Lamont Images/Phelps Media Group.

Tonkawa Slams CT Energia 10-5
 
CT Energia                     Tonkawa
Alessandro Bazzoni 2       Jeff Hildebrand A*
Kris Kampsen 6                 Gonzalo Deltour 7
Joao Paulo Ganon 7         Inaki LaPrida 7
Nicolas Manifold 5            Jeff Blake   6
                                        *Lucas Arellano A 

Wednesday's afternoon match of Tonkawa versus CT Energia started out closely, but Tonkawa quickly pulled out all the stops and pulled ahead, firmly maintaining its lead for the remainder of the match. The first goal of the match was scored by CT Energia's Joao Paulo Ganon. Gonzalo Deltour rapidly scored two more goals on penalty conversions, following up with another goal scored on a breakaway, ending the first chukker 3-1.

Gonzalo Deltour. Photo: Liz Lamont Images/Phelps Media Group.
Gonzalo Deltour. Photo: Liz Lamont Images/Phelps Media Group.

Deltour continued his standout performance by backing out a goal attempt by CT Energia, hitting the ball in midair and following it on a breakaway. Penalty conversions were a huge factor in this game, as Deltour converted a penalty to make the score 4-1. Ganon scored on a penalty at the end of the second chukker, leaving the score at 4-2. 

Inaki LaPrida came out strong in the third chukker, scoring Tonkawa's only goal for the chukker. Ganon bulleted past all four Tonkawa defenders to put one up on the board, making the score 5-3 at the end of the third chukker. Deltour doubled up Tonkawa's lead inside of the first minute of play in the fourth chukker, scoring another goal to make Tonkawa's lead 6-3. After a series of wide shots by CT Energia, a hook by Jeff Hildebrand and passes by Jeff Blake and Deltour resulted in a score by LaPrida. Deltour scored on a breakaway, ending the fourth chukker 8-3.

Jeff Blake and Kris Kampsen. Photo: Liz Lamont Images/Phelps Media Group.
Jeff Blake and Kris Kampsen. Photo: Liz Lamont Images/Phelps Media Group.

Following a series of penalties on both sides, LaPrida drove another goal in during the fifth chukker.  Ganon took the bowl in as an opportunity, keeping control of the ball from center field to goal line on a breakaway and putting one up on the board for CT Energia, making the score 9-4. Ganon's next goal came from a penalty conversion on a 60-yard defended shot and ended the chukker 9-5. Deltour scored the lone goal of the sixth chukker, making the final score 10-5 in favor of Tonkawa.

Deltour credited Tonkawa's teamwork for its success. " I think what happened was good teamwork. All of us played really well," he said, noting that Blake had excellent plays in the back. 

The action continues Thursday with three games: Coca-cola plays Flight Options at 10 a.m., followed by Merchant Hub and Enigma at 1 p.m. and Lechuza Caracas against Orchard Hill at 3 p.m.




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