By ELANI COHEN
This past weekend, the men’s polo team welcomed the Gardnertown Polo Club while the women’s polo squad played host to Skidmore College. While the women earned a decisive victory over the Thoroughbreds with a final score of 24-3, the men lost its match against the Gardnertown Polo Club, 26-15.
Despite the loss, the match was valuable because it highlighted future areas of improvement for the men, according to Senior Alex Langlois.
“The game this weekend was against a group of alumni who were kind enough to come back to give us some extra practice for the tournament,” he said. “The game didn’t go as we initially intended, but it proved useful is seeing where it is we need to improve.”
Expecting to miss one of its starters, sophomore Ignacio Masias — who will be playing in the Federation of International Polo World Championships, the Red began its match with freshman Kimran Pirasteh and seniors Nick Stieg and Hakan Karabey. The Gardnertown Polo Club scored the first eight goals of the match, a lead that Cornell could not relinquish during the first half. The second half began with Masias and senior Alex Langlois replacing Pirasteh and Stieg. As the third chukker began, Gardnertown kept up its tough play. Unable to conquer the foe’s advantage, Cornell lost the match, 26-15. Stieg and Masias each had four goals followed by Pirasteh with three, Langlois with two and Karabey with one. There was also one pony goal.
“We had a great match up against some of the best players that walked this campus before us. It was a very important warm-up as we prepare for the Bill Field invitational this week, where some of the best programs in the country will be competing,” Karabey said. “The match helped polish some aspects of our game that needed shining.”
The women, however, found success in its weekend away match against Skidmore. Juniors Anna Winslow, Claire Stieg and Elena Wicker started for the Red. The first chukker began with the Red outscoring the Thoroughbreds, 7-1. Sophomore Hortense Gimonet rotated in during the second chukker. Cornell ended the first half holding the edge over Skidmore. Throughout the contest, the women rotated in and out, playing three chukkers each. Ultimately, the match ended with a final score of 24-3 in the Red’s favor. This was a high scoring match for the Red: Winslow tallied 12 points, followed by Wicker with six and Stieg and Gimonet having two goals each. There were also two pony goals.
“Our game against Skidmore was a lot of fun and everyone on the team played well,” Stieg said. “Traveling to play another team comes with a few challenges because you have to ride in an unfamiliar arena on horses that you’re not used to, but everyone quickly found their bearings and had a good time.”
The Gardnertown Polo Club scored the first eight goals of the match, and the Cornell men’s squad was unable to erase the deficit. (Kern Sherma / Sun Staff Photographer).