Balladeer’s Blog’s coverage of the world’s OLDEST team sport continues with this look at the first two clashes in this year’s 115th U.S. Open.
GAME ONE: FLEXJET VS COLORADO – Part of the fun of Polo is the way that men and women often play on the same team. In this instance, Melissa Ganzi led Flexjet – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Aviators – against Colorado – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Red Sleeves.
FIRST CHUKKER – This opening Chukker was VERY defense-oriented, with only one Goal being scored. That lone Goal was knocked between the Uprights by Flexjet, as the Aviators grabbed a 1-0 lead.
SECOND CHUKKER – Defense was still the watchword in this Chukker, but as a sign that both offenses were beginning to find their rhythm, each team swatted in a Goal this time around. The Flexjet lead over Colorado now stood at 2-1.
THIRD CHUKKER – The Red Sleeves made some major noise now, outscoring the Aviators 3 Goals to 1 in what was still a low-scoring affair overall. Colorado’s stunning play this Chukker gave them a 4-3 edge going into Halftime.
FOURTH CHUKKER – Flexjet clamped down defensively to open the 2nd Half, shutting out the Red Sleeves while managing a pair of Goals themselves. The Aviators were on top 5-4 with neither team realizing that Colorado would be humiliatingly shut out for the REST OF THE MATCH!
FIFTH CHUKKER – This penultimate Chukker was a rehash of the previous one. Flexjet swatted in 2 Goals while shaming the Red Sleeves’ offense and held a 7-4 advantage heading into the final sextant.
SIXTH CHUKKER – More of the same to end this still curiously low-scoring battle. The Aviators managed 2 Goals while Colorado managed none for the 3rd Chukker in a row. Flexjet won it by a final tally of 9-4.
Gonzalito Pieres led the Aviators with 5 Goals.
GAME TWO: VALIENTE VS THE U.S. POLO ASSOCIATION – The quartet from Valiente – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Valiants – took on the Grant Ganzi-led United States Polo Association – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Association (Thank Jim Rome.)
FIRST CHUKKER – Valiente – the Defending U.S. Open Champions – and USPA matched each other blow for blow and Goal for Goal in this opening Chukker, which ended with the score knotted up at 2 Goals apiece.
SECOND CHUKKER – This Chukker set the pace for the rest of the way in this match. It was all about Defense, with the Valiants scoring the only Goal to take a 3-2 lead.
THIRD CHUKKER – The Association doubled up on Valiente this time around. They outscored them 2 Goals to 1, leaving the score at a 4-4 tie headed into Halftime.
FOURTH CHUKKER – This Chukker saw the Valiants shut out USPA while slamming in a couple of Goals for themselves. The score now stood at 6-4 with Valiente on top.
FIFTH CHUKKER – This time around the Defending Champs outscored the Association by a count of 2 Goals to 1. The two teams headed into the final Chukker with the Valiants holding an 8-5 advantage.
SIXTH CHUKKER – Another low-scoring game was the result as the two teams mustered just 1 Goal apiece to bring things to a close. Valiente were the victors by a final score of 9-6.
Facundo Pieres led the Valiants with 4 Goals.
POOL PLAY CONTINUES NEXT TIME AS AUDI (The Bavarians) AND THE DAILY RACING FORM (The Stat-Hounds) GET INTO THE ACTION.