On the strength of a blitzkrieg in the second and third chukkers, the Cornell men’s polo team thrashed the Boilermakers of Purdue by a score of 28-10.
The trio of seniors Jeff Embow, Ben McClintic and Renato Pererra dominated the play during the two chukkers, at one point scoring 15 consecutive goals.
Embow opened the scoring, tallying a goal and garnering an early lead for the Big Red. However, the Boilermakers hung tough, tying the Red at 2-2 on Prathik Nidadavilia’s second goal of the day. At the end of the first chukker, Cornell held on to a slim 5-2 lead.
“I was a little disappointed in our performance in the first chukker. I think we took them for granted. It was a nice wake-up call,” said coach David Eldredge ’81.
The giants definitely awoke.
After having their lead trimmed to 5-3 at the beginning of the second chukker, Cornell went on a 17-1 run and never looked back. Paced by Embow’s 11 goals, the Big Red took control. “I think all of our players performed pretty well,” stated Eldredge. Ben [McClintic] regained some confidence after the break and Jeff [Embow] got back his scoring touch.”
In addition to the men’s success, the No. 1 ranked women’s polo team was also victorious. From the onset, the Cornell women dominated Purdue en route to a 27-2 win. The main story however was the much anticipated return of star Melissa Riggs.
“Mainly, we wanted to work on team chemistry. As our undefeated record suggests, we’ve been playing really well,” gleamed Eldredge.
“Against some of the weaker teams, a problem is that the team can regress. Even if you win by a large margin, you can look really bad,” warned Eldredge.
“I’m very happy with the women’s team because they showed intensity at the beginning and never let up.”
This coming week, both of Cornell’s teams will face stiffer competition in the form of the University of Virginia’s Cavaliers.
“Their men’s team is No. 2 in the region, only behind us. In Virginia earlier this year, we beat them by 5 goals,” noted Eldredge.
The lady riders face an equally daunting task.
“[Virginia’s] women’s team is also good. They’re getting their best player back this week after a semester off, and we’re certainly a bit concerned. This will be a very interesting week,” the coach commented.
Archived article by Alex Ip