November 22, 2002

Polo Teams Advance at Field Tourney

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The men’s and women’s polo teams beat Yale during Wednesday’s round of the Bill Field Memorial Polo Tournament by scores of 23-8 and 24-5. The win is one of many that will be required for the teams to reach this weekend’s tournament championship.

The women started their match off slowly, but had things in high gear by the end of the first chukker. Cornell junior Harriet Antczak scored first, but the energy was diminished as Yale evened things up, 1-1. From there however, things began to change.

Cornell continued to find the goal, as Antczak and senior Taylor McLean would combine for four unanswered goals. The two, along with junior Marisa Bianchi, ended the first chukker leading with a score of five to one. The second chukker saw even more action, as the ladies put forth a solid effort, blanking Yale, 8-0.

Personnel changes at the half saw Kristen Taylor, Molly Buck and senior Audrey Robertson enter the game. The trio posted ten goals over the next two chukkers and still managed to hold Yale defensively, allowing only four goals.

As a whole, coach David Eldredge ’81 was pleased with the women’s performance.

“We got the win and we got on the right track,” said Eldredge. He also mentioned that he was happy with the rotation of riders, citing that he wanted to see how the other players on the team would perform.

Led by juniors Jeff Markle and Senter Johnson, the men’s team got off to a faster start. Johnson scored the first six goals, as he and Markle combined for ten total points in the first chukker. The pair, along with senior Jacob LeClair, shut Yale out until early in the second chukker.

Cornell did not hesitate in its reply. After Yale’s first goal, Jeff Markle quickly quieted the Bulldogs bench with an easy goal. Though the second chukker was not as productive in terms of offensive numbers, the Red exhibited more technique and skill. Johnson and Markle would each score three to end the half, 16-1.

The second half was not that productive for the Red, as the team combined for seven goals and allowed Yale to do the same. Part of this is attributed to the fact that coach Eldredge split up the Johnson-Markle duo, and told the remaining member of the pair to take things easy.

“We had a substantial lead,” said Eldredge. “I told Jeff to back off because of the long weekend, and I did the same thing with Senter in the fourth.”

Besides the fear of tiring out his star players and best horses, Eldredge had a second reason for splitting up the pair — he wanted to see how his upcoming players would perform.

The polo teams return to action at Oxley this weekend with the women playing tonight at 7:15 p.m. and the men taking on defending national champion Colorado State tomorrow at 8 p.m. The winners of each bracket will play off in the championship match on Sunday.

Archived article by Matt Janiga