What’s a coach to do after his No. 1 ranked squad slaughters the only team in the nation with a faint chance of providing meaningful competition?
That is what women’s polo head coach David Eldredge ’81 had to determine on the heels of a 26-7 throttling of top- flight Virginia.
With a trip to Ancient Eight foe Yale next on the lady riders hit list, complacency appears to be the only possible obstacle the club will need to address.
Acknowledging the relatively weak competiton that the Bulldogs present, the coach offered some level of importance for this weekends tilt.
“We’ll be riding different horses at Yale, which is going to be good practice for the nationals [when each team from the Eastern region pools a string together],” Eldredge said.
Junior sensation Melissa Riggs will make her third appearance since returning from a semester in South America.
In last weekend’s action she torched the Cavaliers for nine goals, including a barrage of six markers in the third chukker.
What has been most promising for the Red in the return of the All-American has been the preservation of a relatively balanced offensive attack. Sophomore Taylor McLean and rookie standout Marissa Bianchi each lit the lamp on six occasions, while Junior Liz Antzcak notched four scores.
The defensive effort from Cornell has been no less remarkable as the club managed to keep a potent Virginia offense at bay.
The visitor’s leading scorer, Dana Grant, mustered just four goals.
The Bulldogs have struggled mightily against the Red, having bowed on two separate occasions by a cumulative total of 60-5.
In the match on East Hill in the opening round of the William S. Field Invitational tournament, Yale would not get its first goal until early in the final stanza when Sarah Crews ended a stretch of 26 consecutive Cornell goals.
Three riders scored in double digits, with Bianchi leading the charge with a staggering 13 goal output, followed by 12 and 11 from McLean and Antzcak, respectively.
Yale faired a bit better against a trio of reserves back in early December, falling by a 24-4 count.
Sophomore Audrey Robertson led Cornell with 11 goals, as the Red opened up with a 12-0 run after falling behind 1-0.
It would never look back as junior Jen Barnas added nine goals to complete the damage for the home team. Senior Ali Tracey added to the barrage, putting the ball over the white line three times.
And if that’s not enough to intimidate Yale, consider that the Red were without Riggs in both those matches.
The Bulldogs are young and inexperienced, with just one returnee on their women’s club.
Cornell hopes to be able to exploit this factor to dictate the tempo of play.
On the men’s front, the teams expect to exact an equally dominant performance.
The two Ivy rivals have yet to clash this season. However, the Bulldogs are a far cry from Virginia who the Red handled 17-13 last weekend.
Senior Jeff Embow has continued to make his farewell campaign a memorable one, turning in another powerful performance against the Cavaliers.
His ability to slow the pace of the game to the Red’s methodical style keyed the victory for Cornell.
And just when things seemed they could not get any better for Cornell, Javier Alcover made his anticipated return to the squad.
Alcover will provide needed leadership for the already talent-laden squad.
Archived article by Gary Schueller