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Beluga USPA North American Cup

Opening round of play in the six team, 20-goal USPA tournament.

Wins by Piaget and Berlin Polo in 2013 Beluga USPA North American CupBy Alex Webbe
Alejandro “Piki” Alberdi scored six goals in leading Piaget (Melissa Ganzi, Tommy

Biddle, Piki Alberdi and Juan Bollini) to a 9-8 win over Beluga (Misha Rodzianko, Carlos

Baez, Michel Dorignac and Luis Escobar) in the opening match of the 2013 Beluga

USPA North American Cup Tuesday morning on the grounds of the Palm City Polo Club

in Boca Raton.

The game got off to a slow start, with Beluga being spotted two goals by the 19-goal

Piaget team, 2-0. Alberdi scored the only goal from the field of the opening chukker as

Beluga left the field with a 2-1 advantage.

Consecutive goals from Alberdi in the second had Piaget in the lead, 3-2, as the

Argentine 8-goaler displayed the adept stick-work that made him one of the game’s top

players. Beluga’s Luis Escobar finally broke through the Piaget defense to score the

tying goal, 3-3, with 14 seconds on the clock.

Alberdi scored his fourth goal of the day in the opening minute of the third chukker to

put Piaget back in the lead, 4-3. Three minutes later Michel Dorignac converted a 40-

yard penalty shot for a Beluga goal and a 4-4 tie. Piaget’s Tommy Biddle and Escobar

exchanged goals to keep it all even at 5-5, but Alberdi managed a final goal in the last

12 seconds of the first half to give the lead back to Piaget, 6-5.

Both teams buckled down on defense in the fourth period, and it wasn’t until there were

three minutes left in the chukker that Misha Rodzianko scored to deadlock it again at 6-

6. Alberdi responded with a Piaget goal at the two minute mark and Beluga left the field

trailing by a single goal, 7-6.

Goals were scarce in the fifth as both teams struggled with accuracy in the goal area.

Piaget team captain Melissa Ganzi scored the only goal as she extended her team’s

lead to two goals, 8-6.

Escobar cut the lead back down to a single goal with a goal in the first minute of the

sixth period, 8-7, but Piaget wasn’t ready to give up. A Beluga foul was converted into

a goal by Biddle less than a minute later for a 9-7, two goal Piaget advantage. Beluga

continued to press but Piaget wouldn’t break. Escobar scored the final goal in the last

two seconds of play, but it was Piaget who recorded the 9-8 victory.

Alberdi’s six goals led all scorers. Biddle scored twice (once on a penalty shot) and

Ganzi added a goal for the win. Escobar set the pace for Beluga with four goals.

Dorignac and Rodzianko each scored a goal and the team received two goals by

handicap.

BERLIN POLO 11, ELG 9

ELG (Avery Chapman, Guille Aguero, Kris Kampsen and Carlucho Arellano) charged

out to an 8-4 halftime lead before falling to a determined Berlin Polo lineup (Moritz

Gaedeke, Hector Galindo, Sugar Erskine and Jeff Blake) 11-9 in the second Beluga

USPA North American Cup match of the day.

ELG received two goals by handicap and quickly added two more goals with Carlucho

Arellano and Avery Chapman scoring from the field for an early 4-0 lead. Moritz

Gaedeke got his Berlin Polo team on the scoreboard with the final goal of chukker. ELG

left the field with a comfortable 4-1 lead.

Arellano scored again to open the second period and teammate Kris Kampsen

converted a penalty shot as the ELG lead was stretched to five goals, 6-1. Sugar

Erskine scored on a penalty shot for Berlin Polo but at the end of the second period

ELG was ahead, 6-2.

Kampsen scored two more goals in the third, but Goedeke and Hector Galindo

responded with single goals for Berlin Polo. The first half ended with ELG brandishing

an 8-4 advantage.

A refocused Berlin Polo team took the field in the fourth chukker and quickly went to

work. Erskine opened the chukker by converting a 60-yard penalty shot, 8-5, and then

followed up with a goal from the field, 8-6. Teammate Jeff Blake scored his first goal of

the day to cut the ELG lead to a single goal, 8-7.

Two more Berlin Polo goals went unanswered as ELG was shutout for the second

consecutive chukker. Erskine tied the game with a goal from the field in the opening

minute of the fifth period, 8-8, and then gave his team the lead with a converted penalty

shot, 9-8.

Final chukker action saw Erskine score a goal from the field in the first 30 seconds of

play, 10-8. Galindo converted a penalty shot to extend the Berlin Polo lead to three

goals, 11-8 with two minutes left in the game. Kampsen scored the final goal of the

game at the one minute mark and Berlin Polo celebrated the 11-9 win.

Erskine led the field with six goals (three on penalty conversions). Gaedeke and

Galindo scored two goals apiece and Blake added a goal. Kampsen scored four times

for ELG (once on a penalty shot). Arellano added two goals and Chapman scored once

in the loss.

Competition is scheduled to continue in the 2013 Beluga USPA North American Cup

on Thursday with a 9:30AM game between Berlin Polo and Audi (Marc Ganzi, Carlitos

Gracida, Nic Roldan and Carlos Gracida, Sr.) followed by a 3:30PM contest between

Piaget and Casablanca (Grant Ganzi, Jeff Hall, Mike Azzaro and Mike Azzaro). The

morning game will be played at the Palm City Polo Club in Boca Raton while the

afternoon bout will take place on the grounds of the Grand Champions Polo Club in

Wellington.