It is hard for the Cornell men’s polo team not to be at least a little disappointed.
The UVA-Cornell game is always expected to be a great match between two of the finest polo teams in the country. Oxley Equestrian Center was packed for the second night in a row, after the lady riders’ 17-10 victory over Virginia Friday night. Unfortunately for the Red, the Cornell men failed to rise to the occasion, falling 19-12 to the Cavaliers.
The first chukker opened with a quick UVA goal, and after two quick goals by frontman Senter Johnson made the score 3-2 Cornell, the Red played catch-up, never assuming the lead thereafter. Stellar shooting and control by the Cavaliers’ Santiago Avalon resulted in a 6-3 UVA lead by the end of the chukker.
“We just made horrendous mistakes, simple, basic mistakes right from the get-go,” head coach David Eldredge ’81 explained , “The nice thing about this one is it’ll be an eye-opener [for] the guys.”
The Red continued to struggle in the second chukker as Cornell’s Javier Alcover missed four consecutive penalty shots early on.
The Red was only down 9-7 by the end of the second, but they already appeared exhausted.
Senter Johnson, who played despite an injured knee, stated that by the third chukker he felt very tired.
“I wasn’t able to practice [over the past two weeks] because of my injury,” he explained.
The third chukker evinced just how tired the Cornell players were, as UVA closed with three unanswered goals to make the score 14-9.
At this point, Eldredge decided to pull Johnson to allow him to rest. “I need [Johnson] healthy for us to have any sort of a chance,” Eldredge said.
The game ended on a high note for Cornell, with the Red notching two unanswered goals to finalize the score at 19-12.
The Red hopes to rebound against the Gardnertown Polo Club next weekend.
Archived article by Michael Pandolfini