They’re about as sure a bet as the Yankees in October.
In fact, having lost just one regular season match in over two years, the women’s polo team is even more dominant.
When the squad lost standout junior Melissa Riggs to a semester abroad, it went searching to fill the void. Since former reserve Liz Antzcak emerged as an instant stud, the shimmering of a national crown is once again visible to the eyes of the riders.
The club takes its show on the road today at 4 p.m., when they do battle with Garrison.
After demolishing Connecticut 17-3, the riders will look for another strong performance from sophomore Taylor McLean. A homegrown product of head coach David Eldredge, the phenom and Lansing native dazzled last season. In play last weekend she showed signs of her brilliance on the field. Having made an immediate impact on the team last season, she should continue to key the club’s excellence.
Garrison will also have to find away to control rookie Marisa Bainchi, the crowning jewel of the Red’s recruiting class. She has been highly touted by Eldredge who sees her as having an opportunity to be a dominating player.
But it should be Antczak, the team’s most outstanding player last weekend who will pace the riders. Like McLean, she is also a local project. The Arts and Sciences student had shown potential for excellence last season. Her resume is impressive, including a five goal effort at the Eastern Regional Championships.
The men’s program is equally well on its way to earning a trip to, or this year, a stay at the national championships. Having opened the campaign with a 22-13 thrashing off Queechee, the team should once again assume the dominating form it had last season.
M-Power will be the next challenge for the club. The contest is slated for 7:30 p.m. tomorrow.
The Red will look to senior transfer Jeff Embow to lead the way. A history major, he was a first team All-American last season. In his farewell season, he will be hungrier than ever to bring a trophy back to Ithaca. After all he is no stranger to championships, having earned a national title while at Colorado State.
After spending a portion of the season sidelined with a shoulder injury Renato Pereira should be even more of a force. Paired with Embow, the two showed fabulous dynamics last season.
Rounding out the trio is junior Ben McClintic. The Pennsylvania native showed dramatic improvement last season. Having developed his speed, he was a prominent contributor to the vitality of the club last season.
This year Eldredge will have another weapon.
Cornell polo fans will soon be familiar with the name Jeff Markel. A diamond in the rough, he was without question the best men’s high school player in the nation.
And under the unmatched tutelage of Eldredge, the former high school player of the year should become a phenom on the East Hill. With an additional three campaigns ahead of him, he will be a solid part of the Red’s future.
This is one dynasty whose fall seems far off.
Archived article by Gary Schueller