After finishing the first half of the season with a 23-11 win over Skidmore, the men’s polo team returned to action for the first time after Winter Break with a crushing 20-9 victory over Cowtown Polo Club/Work to Ride at the Oxley Equestrian Center.
“The Cowtown team is a really solid group of players –– they always play hard and play fast,” said junior captain Max Constant. “We liked our odds in this game since we had beaten them earlier in the year, but we also viewed it as a good game to open up with. We felt a bit of pressure to get the season started on the right foot.”
Cornell scored two goals to knot things at 2-2, but Cowtown responded with another goal to go ahead, 3-2.
“We came out flat-footed. This is a game where goals are exchanged back and forth really frequently,” Constant said. “It took us about a minute to figure out exactly the style and way they were playing, but after that we were able to adjust.”
After that goal, the Red took control of the first chukker and found net on two more occasions to take a 4-3 lead at the end of the period’s regulation.
During the second chukker, Cornell scorers began to find their rhythm and managed to outscore Cowtown, 8-1. By the end of the second chukker, the game was 12-4 in favor of the Red.
Cowtown fought back in the third chukker, scoring three goals while allowing the Red’s offense to tally two more. Although Cowtown won the third chukker, it still trailed in the match, 14-7.
Cornell came out strong during the last chukker, scoring six more goals and limiting Cowtown to only two. With the 20-9 victory, the Red added another “W” to its record, which now stands at 8-2.
Constant topped the team’s scoring list with 12 goals, while Van Loon and Pardell tallied two. A pony scored the Red’s remaining goal.
Constant stressed the importance of not coming out sluggish in future matchups.
“When we play the UVa/Texas A&M teams, once they get a 2-4 goal lead, it becomes much harder to make that difference up,” he said. “Also, [we need] to be in sync with each other’s playing styles. This will help our transition game and minimize missed plays.”
Cornell’s quest to remain one of the top contenders for the national title continues this Saturday, when the Red hosts Kentucky at Oxley.
Original Author: AJ Ortiz