Balladeer’s Blog continues its coverage of the world’s OLDEST team sport. FOR MY PRIMER ON POLO CLICK HERE The 115th U.S. Open rolled along with the final two teams for the Semifinals being determined.
GAME ONE: FLEXJET VERSUS AUDI – Two Ganzis, one of the First Families of Polo, were in action in this opening Match while a third played in the second one. Melissa Ganzi led the quartet from Flexjet – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Aviators – against Marc Ganzi and his foursome from Audi – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Bavarians.
FIRST CHUKKER – Things got off to a slow start on the offensive side. Both teams’ defenses were on top of their game and limited their opponents to just 1 Goal. The First Chukker ended in a 1-1 tie.
SECOND CHUKKER – The Bavarians managed to outdo the Aviators this time around. Audi swatted in 3 Goals compared to the 2 scored by Flexjet. The score now stood at 4-3 with the Bavarians on top.
THIRD CHUKKER – Audi dominated this Chukker on both sides of the ball, shutting out the Aviators while thwacking 2 more Goals between the Uprights. Going into Halftime the Bavarians led Flexjet by a tally of 6-3.
FOURTH CHUKKER – To start the 2nd Half the Aviators acted like they had just been playing possum the first three Chukkers. Flexjet notched FIVE Goals while limiting Audi to just 1! The Aviators had gone on top 8-7.
FIFTH CHUKKER – Flexjet practically repeated their performance of the previous Chukker. They once again held the Bavarians to 1 lone Goal, while this time scoring 4 of their own. The Aviators headed into the final sextant holding a 12-8 advantage.
SIXTH CHUKKER – Audi knew what they had to do to stave off elimination. Believe it or not they did just that: swatting in a quartet of Goals and completely shutting out Flexjet. The Sixth Chukker ended in a 12-12 tie, forcing Overtime and a Golden Goal situation.
OVERTIME – After each team saw a potential scoring opportunity thwarted by the opposing team’s defense, the Aviators’ Deuce Nico Pieres scored the Golden Goal on a 60-yard Penalty Shot with 3:56 left in the first Overtime Chukker. Flexjet advanced to the Semifinals by a final score of 13-12.
Nico and Gonzalito Pieres led the victors in scoring with 5 Goals each.
U.S. POLO ASSOCIATION VERSUS COLORADO – In this closing Match of the Double Header another Ganzi – Grant – rode into action with the team from the United States Polo Association – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Association (With thanks to Jim Rome.) On the other side was Colorado – Official Balladeer’s Blog Nickname: The Red Sleeves.
FIRST CHUKKER – The USPA managed the lone Goal scored in this defense-heavy opening Chukker. Colorado faced a 1-0 deficit.
SECOND CHUKKER – The Association doubled up on the Red Sleeves this time around, thwacking in a pair of Goals to the 1 mustered by Colorado. USPA now led it by a score of 3-1.
THIRD CHUKKER – Once again the Association notched a 2-1 scoring advantage over the Red Sleeves. Headed into Halftime the score stood at USPA 5 Colorado 2.
FOURTH CHUKKER – The Red Sleeves tried to imitate Flexjet from the earlier game, hoping to parlay a breakout Fourth Chukker into a comeback victory. Colorado shut out the Association while hitting 2 Goals between the Uprights. USPA’s lead had been cut to 5-4.
FIFTH CHUKKER – This penultimate Chukker – not to be confused with the Penultimate Supper (Monty Python fans will get it) saw the Red Sleeves outscore the Association 2 Goals to 1, knotting up the score at 6-6.
SIXTH CHUKKER – Compared to the rest of this Match the ball practically FLEW between the Uprights. USPA swatted in 3 Goals to the 2 managed by Colorado. The Association won it 9-8 to complete this year’s Final Four teams.
Juan Martin Nero had a virtual One Man Stand, scoring EIGHT of the Association’s 9 Goals.
THE SEMIFINAL MATCHUPS:
DAILY RACING FORM (THE STAT-HOUNDS) VERSUS USPA (THE ASSOCIATION)
VALIENTE (THE VALIANTS) VERSUS FLEXJET (THE AVIATORS)
VALIENTE ARE THE DEFENDING U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONS.