The magnetism of polo at Oxley Equestrian Center never subsides for some former riders.
Heather Torrey ’00, a finalist for The Cornell Daily Sun athlete of the year returned to East Hill to lead a regional club squad into exhibition action against the current Red riders Saturday evening.
The trio from the New York-Ohio Polo club, all former students of Head Coach David Eldredge ’81 fell to the heirs to their throne, 17-6. Katherine Riedle and Rachel Gardner rounded out the trio of visitors.
The Red’s lady riders took a 6-1 advantage by the intermission and broke the contest open in the third and fourth chukkers.
Despite a seven-goal effort from standout sophomore Taylor McLean, the win did not come easy for the Red.
“We definitely had to work for it,” affirmed Eldredge.
For the national championship hopeful Cornell, the match provided a valuable tune-up. The team appeared to need the opening stanza to settle down as it was troubled by an uncharacteristically hasty pace.
The second half was more auspicious for the Red who showed increasing offensive cohesion, lighting the lamp eleven times in the final two chukkers.
Sophomore Liz Antzcak and rookie Marissa Bianchi turned in admirable performances scoring six and three goals, respectively. McLean dominated the third chukker, accounting for four of Cornell’s five goals. The visitors helped the Red’s cause by recording a pony goal to add to the margin of victory.
Torrey led the visitors losing effort, notching three goals.
While Eldredge was pleased with his team’s outing, he will be looking for better communication and more teamwork as the regional and national competition loom large on the squad’s horizon.
Adding more drama to Cornell’s championship drive will be the return of junior Melissa Riggs who has spent the previous semester in Argentina. Eldredge will be faced with a tough decision in shuffling his starting trio to make room for the phenom. Antzcak has garnered rave reviews, exceeding all expectations, playing in Riggs’s stead. The next two weeks of practice should prove interesting for the squad as Eldredge begins the arduous task of naming a starting three.
The squad returns to action on February 3, when it welcomes Purdue for an 8:15pm tilt.
Archived article by Gary Schueller