Audi wins Hall of Fame Cup on last second goal by Grant Ganzi
By Alex Webbe
In a back-and-forth game that saw the score tied on six occasions, fifteen-year-old Grant Ganzi scored the winning goal for Audi (Grant Ganzi, Gonzalo Del Tour, Gonzalito Pieres and Rodrigo Andrade) in the last second of play Tuesday morning in the final of the 2014 Hall of Fame Cup at the International Polo Club to defeat Flight Options (Marc Ganzi, Nic Roldan, Eduardo Astrada and Alejandro Astrada), 9-8.
Audi received one goal by handicap from the 26-goal Flight Options team and quickly added to it. Grant Ganzi scored the first goal from the field at 5:49 of the opening chukker as Audi took the early 2-0 lead. Marc Ganzi kept flight Options from getting shut out as he rifled the ball through the Audi goalposts for the final goal of the chukker, 2-1.
Ten-goaler Gonzalito Pieres gave Audi the 3-2 lead with his first score of the game, at 5:38. Two minutes later Nic Roldan blasted a shot through the goal posts from over 100-yards out, 3-3. Marc Ganzi’s second goal of the match had Flight Options back on top, 4-3 with just over a minute to play in the period. Grant Ganzi kept it all even at 4-4 with a scoring shot with just seventeen seconds left in the chukker. The second period ended in a 4-4 deadlock.
Goals from Gonzalo Del Tour and Grant Ganzi (penalty conversion) had Audi on top, 6-4, but Flight Options fought their way back in on the strength of a pair of goals from Alejandro Astrada and Marc Ganzi (penalty shot), 6-6.
Goals were scarce in the fourth chukker with Roldan scoring his second goal of the game at 6:04. Audi was unable to break through the Flight Options defenses, and left the field trailing, 7-6.
The defenses continued to shine in the fifth period, with Gonzalito Peres and Grant Ganzi (penalty conversion) each scoring a goal to put Audi in front, 8-7.
Alejandro Astrada tied the game once again in the sixth on a well-executed goal with 6:51 left in the chukker. The two teams struggled for control of the ball late in the game with each team getting scoring opportunities, but no one able to convert. In a final run down the field Grant Ganzi carried the ball down to the Flight Options goal and scored the game winner as the final horn sounded.
Grant Ganzi led all scoring with five goals (two on penalty conversions). Pieres scored twice and Del Tour added a goal in the third. Audi also received one goal by handicap. Marc Ganzi scored four times for Flight Options (0ne goal by penalty). Roldan and Alejandro Astrada each scored twice in the loss.
Audi’s Gonzalo Del Tour was named MVP while Grant Ganzi’s ATM received Best Playing Pony honors.