By: Rebecca Baldridge
Photos by: ChukkerTV 

WELLINGTON, FL, May 8, 2021— Seminole Casino Coconut Creek defeated Orea by 9-8 in the first match of the Sun Cup, while Sebucan bested Newport by 10-7 in the second match of the day on Friday.

Seminole Casino Coconut Creek (Melissa Ganzi, Horacio Heguy, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, and Juan Bollini) met Orea Polo Team (Petra Sobotova, Justin Daniels, Sugar Erksine, and Pablo Spinacci) Friday morning in the first match of the Sun Cup. Seminole Casino Coconut Creek ceded three goals to Orea on handicap.


Horacio Heguy steals the play from Petra Sobotova

Seminole Casino Coconut Creek got off to a good start by consistently winning throw-ins, but it took almost four minutes of play before Melissa Ganzi put their first goal on the board. With just over a minute left on the clock, Petra Sobotova took the ball from the nearside to the right and put it through to maintain Orea’s three-goal margin and end the chukker 4- 1. Seminole Casino Coconut Creek kept Orea away from the goal in the second period, while Ganzi scored her team’s first goal with a neat under-the-neck shot. Alejandro Novillo Astrada contributed back-to-back goals to even things up and the period ended 4-4. Seminole Casino Coconut Creek‘s strategy of keeping Ganzi in front to score paid off again in the third chukker as she took the ball through to put another goal on the board, but a Penalty 2 conversion from Petra Sobotova ended the half at 5-all.


Juan Bollini defends Petra Sobotova

Seminole Casino Coconut Creek picked up the pace in the fourth chukker, with Ganzi offering up a pair of goals to put her team in the lead for the first time during the match. Orea was frustrated yet again and the chukker ended 7-5 in favor of Seminole Casino Coconut Creek. In the pentultimate chukker, Pablo Spinacci picked up a pass from Sugar Erskine and hit it home, but Juan Bollini made sure that Seminole Casino Coconut Creek maintained their two-point lead.


Marc Ganzi going for the play with teammates ready to assist

With just over three minutes left in the match, Ganzi found the posts again to put Seminole Casino Coconut Creek in the lead by three, but Justin Daniels quickly answered with a tail shot on goal. With just 38 seconds left on the clock, Petra Sobotova made a coast-to- coast run for the final goal of the match, with Orea losing to Seminole Casino Coconut Creek by only one goal with a score of 9-8.

Melissa Ganzi was the high scoring player with six goals to her credit.


Nic Roldan goes for the long hit with Grant Ganzi ready to hook 

In the second match of the day, Sebucan (Pablo Pulido, Nic Roldan, Marc Ganzi, and Juancito Bollini) met Newport (Gene Goldstein, Grant Ganzi, Santi Chavanne, and Tomacho Pieres). Newport ceded one goal to Sebucan on handicap.

Sebucan capitalized on the one-goal head start quickly, playing a strong defense to keep Newport away from the uprights. Pablo Pulido was the first to score from the field, with Juancito Bollini following up. Pulido knocked the ball through the posts one more time to end the first chukker with Sebucan in the lead by 4-0. Newport fared no better in the second chukker, while Marc Ganzi took Sebucan up to five. Finally, in the third chukker, Newport’s Grant Ganzi scored the first goal of the day for his team. However, two more goals by Pulido and Bollini ended the half with Sebucan leading by six goals at 7-1.


Pablo Pulido hooks Santi Chavanne

There must have been a rousing speech in the Newport tent at halftime because the team in white came back energized. Gene Goldstein put the first goal of the second half on the board, with a follow-up from Grant Ganzi. Turning the tables on Sebucan, Newport rallied with a strong defense to prevent them from scoring. Each team managed only one goal in the pentultimate chukker, but Newport came back on fire in the final with Goldstein, Pieres and Grant Ganzi scoring consecutive goals to pull Newport within two at 7-9. A final effort from Marc Ganzi saw Sebucan win the match 10-7.