WELLINGTON, FL., February 12, 2018---In a battle to the end, SD Farms defeated Audi, 11-10, in overtime Sunday in the Ylvisaker Cup at International Polo Club Palm Beach.
By Sharon Robb
Audi (Grant Ganzi, 2, Nic Roldan, 8, Nico Pieres, 8, Marc Ganzi, 2) and SD Farms (Nico Escobar, 2, Adam Snow, 5, Inaki Laprida, 7, Peco Polledo, 6) battled back and forth throughout the game.
Audi, based at Grand Champions Polo Club, led 9-7 going into the final chukker and looked to be in control before SD Farms outscored them 3-1 with goals from Laprida, Escobar and Polledo to send the game into overtime.
Laprida converted a 40-yard penalty shot with 5:52 left in overtime to clinch the win and finished with a team high five goals.
"I knew he was going to make it,"said Escobar, subbing for team sponsor Sayyu Dantata of Nigeria. "It's a huge win. It could have been anybody's game. It definitely could have been our game, it definitely could have been their game."
Laprida and Escobar played well together with teammates Snow, a former 10-goaler and Polledo, making his 20-goal Florida season debut.
"I feel like we are playing well and on the right day hopefully we can play with any team," said Snow, making his first 20-goal Florida appearance since 2013. "I don't think we played our best but we found a way to win. This gives us a huge chance to go to the quarterfinals."
Marc Ganzi's goal with 3:19 left in the game gave Audi back the lead, 10-9, but a costly penalty set SD Farms up enabling Polledo to convert a 60-yard penalty shot and tie the game, 10-10. Pieres and Snow missed scoring opportunities sending the game into overtime. An Audi crossing foul set up Laprida's game-winner.
"We got a little disorganized at the end," said Grant Ganzi, at 19, one of the youngest players on the field. "We lost a little momentum. I worked as hard as I could but in the end we fell too much and left the ball on the field too much. And, you can't win games when you do that at the end of the game when it matters. They are a good team and we didn't deserve to win the game the way we played at the end."
Audi converted 5-of-9 field shots and SD Farms 8-of-16. Audi was perfect at the penalty line, 5-of-5 and SD Farms converted 3-of-4. SD Farms led in fouls 12-7 and throw-ins, 14-10.
"It felt like we cut loose and really started playing when we were down by a goal or two in the sixth," Snow said. "We said let's forget about trying to be perfect and win the next play. I felt we played really well in the sixth and overtime.
"I thought Audi played really well, too," Snow said. "They did a great job at not allowing us to open the game up. They very nearly beat us. Their whole team played well. Marc and Grant worked hard. I was very impressed with the way they played."
It was Audi's third 20-goal game of the 20-goal season. Audi dropped to 1-2 in bracket play. SD Farms is 2-1 after defeating La Indiana and losing to Colorado.
Nic Roldan led Audi with six goals, including three penalty shots. Roldan now has 19 goals in three games. Father and son Marc and Grant Ganzi each had one goal. The team was also awarded two automatic penalty-one goals.
Pieres, who missed Audi's game against Prestige Worldwide on Wednesday for the birth of his first daughter, Begonia, in Argentina, was held scoreless.
Bracket play concludes this week. The tournament continues on Wednesday with three games: SD Farms vs. Carillon Miami Beach, 10 a.m., Pilot vs. Colorado, 12:30 p.m., and Prestige Worldwide vs. La Indiana and three more on Thursday.
Thirteen teams are competing in the month-long tournament. The tournament features four 10-goal players: Hilario Ulloa, Facundo Pieres, Sapo Caset and Adolfo Cambiaso, making his Florida season debut.
The prestigious Ylvisaker Cup, established in 2003, is named after visionary business leader and lifelong polo enthusiast Bill Ylvisaker. Ylvisaker, a former captain of the Yale polo team, founded the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club. He created the Polo Training Foundation to teach and develop young polo players.
Ylvisaker was a 7-goal rated player and won three U.S. Opens, two Coronation Cups against England and Australia, Gold Cup and four national 20-goal championships. He was chairman of the U.S. Polo Association (1970-75) and inducted into the Polo Hall of Fame in 1994. He died February 5, 2010 at age 85.
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. Audi, founded in 1909, oversees its worldwide operations from its headquarters in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany and local distributorship in West Palm Beach.
USPA Polo Network is live streaming the IPC winter season, including the entire Ylvisaker Cup with content from Wellington-based ChukkerTV.
Grand Champions Polo Club and Santa Rita Polo Farm is the largest and most unique 100-acre polo facility in Wellington with 120 stalls in five self-contained barns, exercise track, five climate-controlled tack rooms, vet room, staff quarters, guest house and polo fields with state-of-the-art underground irrigation and stick-and-ball fields.
The club features monthly 6, 8 and 12-goal tournaments and women's weekly league play during the winter season in addition to two 16-20 tournaments, $50,000 National 12 Goal, $100,000 World Cup winner-take-all 0-40-goal tournament, WCT Tournament and USPA National President's Cup.
Grand Champions 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.