Grand Champions Polo Club Impresses in Debut
After a slow start, Grand Champions Polo Club, led by Nico Pieres and Mike Azzaro, found their footing in the second half, using a dominant 5th chukka to pull away from SD Farms for the 11-7 victory to open their 2018 Joe Barry Cup.
SD Farms displayed good chemistry in the first half, led by two passes from Adam Snow that set up goals for teammates Peco Polledo and Inaki Laprida, the second of which provided SD Farms with the early 3-2 lead. Despite being outshot 6-2 in the opening two chukkas, Grand Champions Polo Club was able to take advantage of four SD Farms fouls in the 2nd chukka, resulting in a two penalty conversions for Nico Pieres, giving his team the slim one goal lead.
With the teams deadlocked in a 5-5 tie at halftime, Grand Champions Polo Club began to play a cohesive, team game in the second half, scoring five consecutive goals to extend their lead to 10-6. The five-goal run from Grand Champions Polo Club displayed the fast-paced offense that will only get better as the tournament goes on, highlighted by an impressive neckshot from Azzaro for his fourth goal of the day. The pressure from Grand Champions Polo Club placed SD Farms in foul trouble throughout the second half, committing six fouls in the 4th and 5th chukkas, preventing SD Farms from generating any offense of their own as they shot just 1 for 5 in the second half.
A penalty three conversion for Pieres in the 6th chukka, his fourth conversion in five attempts, sealed the win for Grand Champions Polo Club as they displayed a strong team effort in the victory. Pieres led the way with five goals, followed by Azzaro with four goals and one each from Grant Ganzi and Juancito Bollini.