This weekend, Oxley Equestrian Center will play host to the biggest games in college polo. All of the faithful Red fans will be out to cheer on both Cornell squads, as the Red looks to capture the men’s and women’s Eastern Regional Championships.
The men’s polo squad seeks to finally find its groove against the riders of Valley Forge Military Academy. The lady riders will battle either Yale or the University of Connecticut based on which team wins that preliminary match. Regardless of whom they play, the women hope to continue their winning ways for one last, big push at the Eastern Regional Championship.
For the men, their first round game against the Valley Forge Military Academy looks to be potentially difficult.
“If we fall asleep, even for a second, [Valley Forge] will hurt us,” said Red coach David Eldredge ’81. “They are good. They are talented. We need to work hard.”
The men are not planning on playing a lackadaisical game. The Red visited Valley Forge just three weeks ago, where it lost by a slim two goal margin. Cornell was missing a starter that game, which may have contributed to the loss, but Valley Forge is still known to be a strong squad.
The men must also play hard because they are missing injured sophomore Senter Johnson, whose sore kneecap still has not returned to 100 percent.
“Senter is still dealing with his knee, unfortunately,” said Eldredge. “He has improved, but we have to watch him.”
This weekend will show whether the men can battle back from what was a somewhat mediocre season.
As for the lady riders, they can expect nothing but a straight dash at the Eastern Regional Championship.
“We figure to play UVA in the finals and win,” said Eldredge.
In the meanwhile, the women are still waiting to see whom they are playing in the first round.
“We expect UConn. Whether it is Yale or UConn, we expect to win,” Eldredge remarked.
The Red can expect a tough final if it does end up in the last round against UVA, but it has already proven itself capable against the Cavaliers twice this season.
“We haven’t lost to them this year,” Eldredge stated firmly, “but they are a top quality team.”
The polo action should be fun and fast-paced this weekend at Oxley. The men play their first game at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. The women face off against their first opponent 7:00 p.m. tomorrow night.
Archived article by Michael Pandolfini