By: Rebecca Baldridge
Photos by: ChukkerTV

WELLINGTON, FL, May 15, 2021— Seminole Casino defeated Newport by 10-8 in the first match of the Spring Challenge, while Catamount took down Sebucan in the second match of the day by a score of 9-8.

Seminole Casino Coconut Creek (Melissa Ganzi, Horacio Heguy, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, and Juan Bollini) took on Newport (Gene Goldstein, Sugar Erskine, Justin Daniels, and Pablo Spinacci) in the first match of the Spring Challenge on Friday morning. Seminole Casino ceded two goals to Newport on handicap.

Although Newport started the match with a two-goal advantage, they had a difficult time finding their rhythm and failed to score in the first two chukkers. Melissa Ganzi put the first goal on the board in Chukker One and added the equalizer at the top of the second period. Horacio Heguy made a clean shot to goal from 70 yards, with Ganzi adding another goal after Newport unwisely left her in the open. The third period began with Seminole Casino Coconut Creek in the lead 4-2, and it wasn’t long until their successful strategy of keeping Ganzi in front saw her score again. Newport scored their first goal of the day when Justin Daniels made a spectacular angled shot on goal. The half ended with Seminole Casino Coconut Creek in the lead at 5-3.


Horacio Heguy takes the deep neck shot.

Ganzi continued to play her number one position well in the fourth chukker, scoring her fifth goal with an under the neck shot early in the period. Newport found their feet with goals from Gene Goldstein and Pablo Spinacci. Ganzi scored a second goal in the chukker as well, and the period ended 7-5 with Seminole Casino Coconut Creek still in the lead. Ganzi put another goal on the board early in the pentultimate chukker, but Goldstein smoked a cut shot at 4:20 to score for Newport. Another goal from Ganzi ended the period 9-6 with Seminole Casino Coconut Creek still in the lead.


Newport‘s Pablo Spinacci with a deep neck shot as Alejandro Novillo Astrada happily encouraging him.

In the final chukker, Ganzi found the goal from 60 yards to take her team up to 10. With 2:15 left on the clock Gene Goldstein put one between the posts, while Justin Daniels scored the final goal of the match. Despite Newport’s strong comeback, it wasn’t enough to overcome and the match ended with Seminole Casino Coconut Creek winning by 10-8. Melissa Ganzi was the high scoring player with nine goals to her credit.


Calamount‘s Nic Roldan reaching far on the near side to win possession.

In the second match of the day, Catamount (Mark Ganzi, Grant Ganzi, Nic Roldan, Scott Devon, and Bauti Peloso, who subbed for Devon in the second half) took on Sebucan (Leo Mandelbaum, Pablo Pulido, Tomacho Pieres, and Nacho Figueras). Catamount started the match with two goals on the board on handicap.


Grant Ganzi finds his way between two Sebucan opponents. 

Tomacho Pieres drew first blood for Sebucan, while Leo Mandelbaum converted a Penalty 3 to put a second goal on the board. Catamount was off to a slow start and failed to get past Sebucan to score, and the first chukker ended in a 2-all tie. Catamount roared to life in the second period with Nic Roldan putting the first goal on the board, Leo Mandelbaum answered by sneaking one through the posts under Roldan’s nose, but Marc “the Cobra” Ganzi put two consecutive goals through the uprights. With 1:20 left on the clock, Pieres scored for Sebucan but a final goal from Grant Ganzi ended the period 6-4 in favor of Catamount. Sebucan couldn’t get past the Catamount defense in the third chukker, and a goal from Roldan ended the half with Catamount leading by 7- 4.


Sebucan‘s Tomacho Pieres goes for the long ball hit with Bauti Peloso on the defense. 

Bauti Peloso substituted for Scott Devon in the second half, with the difference in handicap erasing one of Catamount’s goals from the board to put the score at 6-4. Neither team was able to score in the fourth period but there was more action to come in the pentultimate chukker. Roldan put the ball through to take Catamount up to 7 while a goal from Leo Mandelbaum and another from Pablo Pulido with 28 seconds left on the clock ended the period at 7-6 with Catamount clinging to a narrow lead. Pieres scored the equalizer early in the final chukker and it was anyone’s match at this point. Goals from Marc Ganzi and Nic Roldan put Catamount back in the lead at 9-7. Leo Mandelbaum scored the final goal with 1:20 remaining on the clock, but time ran out before Sebucan had a chance to push the match into overtime. Catamount claimed victory with a final score of 9-8.