Wellington, FL – January 10, 2015 – Two points made all the difference in both games Saturday as the 2015 Joe Barry Cup continued at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida. Lucchese took CT Energia 13-11, and Audi bested Tonkawa 10-8.
Game 1 – Lucchese v. CT Energia
Lucchese CT Energia
A John Muse 2 Alessandro Bazzoni
8 Magoo LaPrida 6 Kris Kampsen
8 Nico Pieres 7 Joao Paulo Ganon
4 Andres Weisz 5 Nicolas Manifold
In the first match, Nico Pieres poured it on from beginning to end, pounding in six of Lucchese’s 13 total goals and scoring in every chukker except the fourth. CT Energia’s Joao Paulo Ganon and Nick Manifold made early goals, ending the first chukker at 2-1 for Energia.
Officials decided to move the game to a different field during the second chukker. Players from both teams applauded that choice. As Pieres explained after the game, “The field change was a good decision. It made a difference for all of us.”
(Alessandro Azzoni and John Muse. Photo by Liz Lamont)
Energia’s Kris Kampsen concurred. “Changing fields was a necessity to get the game played,” he said.
Kampsen took advantage of the footing, scoring almost immediately after the second chukker resumed. Demonstrating how he earned his moniker of “The Shark,” he chewed up the competition
Alessandro Bazzoni, Magoo LaPrida and Nico Pieres. Photo by Liz Lamont
throughout the chukker, slapping in three goals. His teammate Ganon also scored a goal, as did Pieres for Lucchese. At that point Energia burned with a blue flame, garnering a four-point lead to end the second chukker 6-2 over Lucchese.
Lucchese, however, made a stunning recovery. It quickly tied the score at 6 all at halftime, with no goals by Energia in the third chukker. Magoo LaPrida contributed two of Lucchese’s four goals, with teammates Pieres and Andres Weisz each making one.
(Pictured below: Kris Kampsen takes control of the ball. Photo by Liz Lamont)
LaPrida maintained his pace in the fourth chukker, scoring two more goals to Kampsen’s one. The fifth chukker started with a Pieres goal, followed by one each by Energia’s Manifold and Alessandro Bazzoni. Bazzoni made an amazing pickup on the offside after Ganon pounded the ball down the field to him. Taking a skillful cutshot back at the goal, Bazzoni tied the game at 9.
The final chukker was a cauldron of tension, with both teams going hell bent for leather to break the tie. Kampsen and Ganon each scored once, but it still wasn’t enough to beat Lucchese. Pieres made three goals, pulling his team into a decisive lead. Bolstered by a goal by Weisz, Lucchese took it 13-11.
Despite the shifting scores from chukker to chukker, Kampsen said Energia had remained with its initial game plan. “Our strategy stayed the same throughout,” he said. “We try to play classic polo, and we’ve played together for a year. We have our system, and we try to stay with it.”
Kampsen had skirmishes in almost every chukker with Pieres, who is equally as tenacious a player. After the game, Pieres seemed light-hearted.
“Oh, there are always big bumps with him,” he said with a laugh when asked about Kampsen. Clearly, that wasn’t what mattered to Pieres. He left the field saying, “I feel like the luckiest man in the world to be able to play with these great teammates that I have.”
Game 2 – Audi v. Tonkawa
Right from the get-go, the lead in game two constantly swapped back and forth. In the first two chukkers, players for Audi and Tonkawa took turns alternately tapping in goals. That resulted in a zigzag one-point spread that held throughout the game, except for a few moments. Going into the second chukker, the game was briefly tied at 2 – so briefly, in fact, that if you looked away from the field for more than a few seconds, you’d have missed it.
1 Marc Ganzi A Lucas Arellano
5 Lucas Lalor 7 Gonzalo Deltour
8 Nic Roldan 7 Inaki LaPrida
6 Freddie Mannix 6 Jeff Blake
With two strong 7-goalers (Inaki LaPrida and Gonzalo Deltour) in its lineup, Tonkawa had a string of excellent plays, beginning in the first chukker with a goal by Deltour (who ended up scoring five of his team’s eight goals). His first came on a penalty #4, when he whacked the ball long and high into the air, making it undefendable. In the next play, Deltour snatched the ball from midfield and handed it off to LaPrida, who scored on a near side neck shot from 70 yards out.
The second chukker started at 2 all, but right away Audi’s Freddie Mannix swooped in and snatched the ball away from Tonkawa’s Jeff Blake. Blake, however, ended the conversation after a handoff from LaPrida, who fired the ball back to him. Blake galloped out ahead by himself, leaving the pack far behind, and scored. Deltour made the last two goals in the second chukker, bringing Tonkawa to a 5-4 lead.
(Jeff Blake and Nic Roldan. Photo by Liz Lamont)
As soon as chukker three started, Audi quickly established its dominance and never looked back, maintaining aone-point lead to the end. Nic Roldan scored three goals for Audi in the third chukker, one of which may have come as a dose of good karma for his sportsmanlike act moments before. (Roldan had stopped play when he saw that his opponent, Deltour, appeared to be injured. It turned out to not be serious, and play resumed.) Deltour made the last goal of the chukker, bringing the score to 7-6 in favor of Audi at halftime.
(Marc Ganzi. Photo by Liz Lamont)
In the fourth chukker, Roldan passed the ball on an open backshot to teammate Freddie Mannix, who picked it up at 107 yards out and took it on a breakaway down the field to score, bringing Audi to an 8-6 lead. Deltour tightened that to 8-7 with a goal on a number two penalty. Roldan and LaPrida scored in the fifth chukker, which ended 9-8. A last-minute goal by Roldan in the sixth chukker clinched the game for Audi, 10-8.
Reflecting on the game, LaPrida said the most important factor was that “We missed some goals at the end. We were playing from behind and couldn’t get past Nic Roldan. But we weren’t playing bad. Maybe from our mistakes, they (Audi) scored.
“In the third chukker we were playing really good. We were tied there and almost might have passed them by one (goal). Then they scored two or three goals, and I think that changed our way of playing. From there, we came on the game from behind. I think we did better in the last two chukkers.”
(Nic Roldan. Photo by Liz Lamont )
As the clock counted down, even the seamless teamplay between LaPrida and Deltour couldn’t stop Roldan. He was clearly on a roll, determined to finish the game the way he had started it. And that he did, scoring the final goal of the day on an open backshot.
A consummate 8-goaler known for his long drives and sleight-of-hand ballwork, Roldan racked up seven of Audi’s total 10 goals. He scored in every chukker except the fourth, with only two of his goals made on penalties.
Still, Roldan is a guy who always assesses the game and his performance with an honest eye. “Today was a good start, and it’s always great to start (the season) like that. But there’s still a lot for us to work on,” he said. “We missed a lot of goals and may have made a lot of stupid plays. We gave away some fouls that they converted on.
“But there were also a lot of positive, good things that we did. All in all, for our first game we’re happy, and now we’ll get ready for the next one, which is going to be a lot tougher, I think, as the teams gain momentum.”
The action continues at IPC on Sunday with three matches. At 10 a.m. Lechuza Caracas opposes Flight Options, followed by Merchant Hub versus Orchard Hill at 1 p.m. The featured match of the day pits Coca-cola against Villa del Lago at 3 p.m.
What: Created by players for players, the International Polo Club Palm Beach was born out of the dream to build a facility to showcase the incredible skills of the ponies and players that dominate the sport.
Members and guests enjoy panoramic views of the action from field side box seats or lawn and terrace seating. Sponsors and fans convene at The Winners Circle to congratulate the players during the awards presentation following the games.
Gourmet brunches, après polo celebrations and the prerequisite charitable events will take place in The Pavilion. Designed to accommodate large parties, corporate clients, as well as family and friends.
Herbie Pennell Cup – 20 Goal
Jan. 1 – 4, 2015
Joe Barry Memorial Cup – 20 Goal
Jan. 4 – 25, 2015
Ylvisaker Cup – 20 Goal
Jan. 28 – February 22, 2015
Iglehart Cup – 20 Goal
Feb. 28 – March 8, 2015
USPA C.V. Whitney Cup – 26 Goal
Feb. 15 – March 1, 2015
Piaget USPA Gold Cup® – 26 Goal
March 4 – March 22, 2015
111th Maserati U.S. Open Polo Championship® – 26 Goal
March 25 – April 19, 2015
Destination will be ahead on the left (0.4 miles)
Destination on Left