WELLINGTON, Fl., April 11, 2017---After two losses, Audi hopes to rebound on Wednesday against Coca-Cola in its’ final bracket game of the 113thU.S. Open at International Polo Club Palm Beach.
Audi (Marc Ganzi, Nic Roldan, Magoo Laprida, Alejandro Novillo Astrada) is coming off a 12-8 loss to defending champion Orchard Hill (Polito Pieres, Juan Chavanne, Facundo Pieres, Steve Van Andel)on Sunday at Isla Carroll East.
Coca-Cola, 1-1, (Gillian Johnston, Julian de Lusarreta, Julio Arellano, Miguel Novillo Astrada) is coming off a 17-12 loss to Valiente.
Grand Champions Polo Club-based Audi was in the hardfought game until midway through the fifth chukker despite having a tough time scoring (1-of-7) and keeping Facundo Pieres from the penalty line (4-for-4) and scoring goals. Pieres scored his team’s first six goals.
In the first half, Orchard Hill pulled away for a 3-1 lead taking advantage of Audi’s early foul trouble. Audi came back to tie Orchard Hill, 3-3 in the second chukker and outscored them 2-1 in the third chukker to trail only 7-6 at the half.
In the fifth chukker, Audi cut Orchard Hill’s lead to one, 8-7. Roldan converted an open goal penalty-three after Chavanne was assessed a blocking foul.
But Orchard Hill came right back with a tail shot from Polito Pieres for a 9-7 lead. After Audi watched another scoring opportunity sail wide, Facundo Pieres beat his defender for a goal and 10-7 lead with 1:35 left. Alejandro Novillo Astrada appeared to score a goal at the end of the chukker but it was ruled no goal after the IRO reviewed the triggers.
Chavanne got loose for a breakaway to extend Orchard Hill's lead to 11-7. Audi missed a penalty conversion but with 4:25 left Laprida found Roldan open for a pass and Roldan raced the length of the field to score what turned out to be Audi’s only goal.
With 2:46 Audi missed another goal attempt and was then called for a right-of-way violation. Pieres converted the penalty shot with 1:39 left to put the game away.
Both teams had nearly identical stats including the same number of shots on goal and same number of penalty attempts. Orchard Hill had one more throw-in than Audi, 13-12.
Roldan led Audi with six goals including three on penalty conversions. Novillo Astrada added two goals.
Facundo Pieres scored a game-high nine goals, including four penalty shots. Polito Pieres had two goals and Chavanne added one.
Orchard Hill was coming off a 12-11 overtime loss to Valiente in the tournament opener.
In other Sunday games, Grand Champions Polo Club-based Flexjet defeated Travieso, 11-9, and Valiente throttled Coca-Cola, 17-12. Both Flexjet and Valiente remain undefeated.
Also on Wednesday, Flexjet plays Valiente at 11 a.m. and Orchard Hill meets Travieso at 5 p.m.
Rated No. 1 by Consumer Reports as the best auto brand overall, Audi is a valued sponsor with a rich winning tradition in polo. The German automobile manufacturer designs, engineers, produces, markets and distributes luxury automobiles throughout the world including West Palm Beach.
The tournament is being live-streamed on the USPA Polo Network at uspolo.org with content provided by production company and Wellington-based ChukkerTV. All games will also be available for on-demand viewing.
Grand Champions Polo Club, with its eleven well-manicured polo fields, caters to men, women and youth polo players at all levels. Its’ expert staff can customize a complete playing experience including horses, pros and certified umpires in addition to lessons and practice sessions as part of its’ Polo On Demand program, the only polo club in the U.S. to offer the unique program.
The Polo School at Grand Champions, a 501c3 organization, is dedicated to teaching polo to all ages, particularly grass roots youth. Its mission is to provide individuals in all walks of life opportunities in polo. The Polo School operates in Wellington January through June and September through November.
2017 GRAND CHAMPIONS WINTER SCHEDULE
(Subject to change because of weather and scheduling conflicts).
APRIL: $100,000 World Cup Tournament (0-26 Goals), APRIL 4-15: $100,000 World Cup Tournament (0-26 Goals), single- elimination: Tuesday, Valiente I vs. Deeridge, 11 a.m. at Valiente Polo Farm; Semifinals, two games, TBA; Final,Saturday, 4 p.m., GCPC Field 2.
APRIL: Las Acacias (4-8 Goals).
APRIL 21-23: GCPC Abierto.
APRIL 28-30: USPA Eastern Challenge.
MAY 5-7: USPA Sun Cup
MAY 12-14: The Spring Challenge Cup.
MAY 19-21: Polo Gear Invitational.
MAY 26-29: The Memorial.
GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB
WHERE: 13444 Southfields Road, on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington, 33414.
INFORMATION: For spectators, there are great field side views for tournament action and also the Grand Champions Polo Club Boutique. The club is home base for pro teams Audi and Flexjet. Everyone is welcome to watch every level of polo in a relaxed atmosphere that includes food and refreshments during the featured games of the winter, spring and fall tournament seasons and other special events. Admission is free except for some special events.