In what’s becoming an annual event for the women’s polo team, the Eastern Regional Championship was won by the host team, as Cornell was crowned champion, gaining a berth into the National Championships, which begin next Monday in Ft. Worth, TX.
The Red’s first match of the tournament was against the University of Connecticut on Mar. 15. The Huskies defeated Skidmore in a preliminary match the day before for the opportunity to challenge the defending champs, who did not disappoint. Cornell decimated Connecticut by a score of 27-3.
A highlight of this semi-final match was the play of sophomore Harriet Antczak, whose performance in the second half of the game paced the Red’s second team, which outscored Connecticut 13-2.
“We got a glimpse of what it will be like next year when she plays more,” said Eldredge.
Antczak and classmate Molly Buck are expected to join junior Taylor McLean in the starting lineup next year, replacing seniors Melissa Riggs and Liz Antczak.
In the final last Sunday, the Red (16-1) defeated archrival University of Virginia 13-9. Cornell now holds a 3-0 record against the Cavaliers on the season.
Leading the way for the Red was Riggs, who was named tournament MVP in her final year on the Hill. McLean also claimed All-East honors.
“It was a good close game,” remarked head coach David Eldredge ’81, “it was what we expected.”
The Cavs were able to pull together a final run in the fourth chukker, outscoring Cornell in a chukker for the first time all season. Eldredge, however, attributed this lapse more to the endurance of the horses than the humans.
“Our horses tired in the fourth chukker,” explained the coach, “UVA’s string was in better shape.”
The riders had a bit of a scare during the match against Virginia as McLean sustained a minor injury to her back. However, it is not considered to be serious and she is expected to play Friday night against Maryland and next week at Nationals.
Overall, the Red showed that it is well-prepared for an attempt at three-peating as national champion, and will enter next week’s competition carrying the momentum of Regionals.
Said Eldredge: “I can’t complain about the play of any of the women.”
Archived article by Owen Bochner