The Challenge Cup Final hosted this weekend by Grand Champions Polo Club tested the mettle of two new team captains. Juancito Bollini and Jonny Lavine spent the summer playing practice matches at Grand Champions under the guidance of Robin Sanchez. Sanchez is the polo school director at Grand Champions Polo Club.
It was the Piaget Polo Team riding off with an 11-7 win over the Audi Polo Team on the Palm City Polo Club fields in Boca Raton.
Audi scored first with Jason Crowder stroking it though the goalposts from the field followed by a line drive penalty conversion from Piaget’s Juancito Bollini. Joey Casey closed out the opening chukker with a goal from the field for a 2-1 Piaget lead.
Jason Crowder for Audi Polo. Crowder had four goals on the day.
Juancito Bollini opened the second period with a goal from the field followed up with Casey’s second goal of the game. Audi responded with single goals from Johnny Lavine and Peter Rizzo. Piaget held a narrow 4-3 lead going into the third.
Piaget owned the field in the third chukker. Dale Schwetz scored his first goal of the game and Casey added two more. At the end of the first half, Piaget was on the winning end of a 7-3 score.
After a brief halftime intermission Juancito Bollini kept the Piaget ball rolling with his third goal of the day. Crowder answered for Audi, converting a penalty shot and scoring his second goal from the field. Audi cut into the lead, but Piaget was in control of an 8-5 game.
Schwetz added another goal in the opening minutes of the fifth chukker and Juancito Bollini’s fourth goal of the game stretched the Piaget lead to four goals, 9-5. Rizzo kept Audi from being shutout with his second goal of the afternoon. With one chukker left in regulation time, Piaget was enjoying a 10-6 advantage. Crowder’s goal from the field in the sixth was countered by Juancito Bollini’s fifth goal of the game for an 11-7 Piaget win.
Piaget’s Juancito Bollini led all scoring with five goals. Casey scored four times and Schwetz was credited with two goals.
Crowder set the pace for the Audi attack with four goals. Rizzo scored twice and Lavine added a single goal in the loss.
Polo Fan Note: The kick off to the Grand Champions Fall 2012 season brought out a small but loyal (and vocal) group of polo fans. Dale Schwetz was named MVP for his efforts in the match and his trophy was the much coveted PINK Piaget Polo Team hat. It is rumored that there are only six of these hats known to exist. Inspired by the trademark pink helmet worn by Piaget Team Patron Melissa Ganzi, these hats are a fan favorite.
Grand Champions polo fans may know MVP Dale Schwetz better in his usual polo uniform...stripes. Dale is one of the USPA certified umpires who call matches at Grand Champions and other high-goal clubs across the country. Dale is a former 6-goal player and winner of numerous tournaments and titles here in Florida and around the United States.
We last caught up with Dale at the finals of the USPA Piaget Silver Cup at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club.
MVP Player Dale Schwetz, right and his alter-ego USPA Umpire Schwetz, below