The women’s polo team opened its quest for a sixth straight Field tournament title with its sixth straight win, a solid 24-2 victory over Skidmore.
The Red dominated play from the start of the first chukker, taking a quick 4-0 lead. Skidmore scored its only goals of the game in the first chukker, both coming off the mallet of Belinda Colgan.
Cornell began the second chukker with a 6-2 lead. The Red was frustrated by the slow pace and physical nature of play. However, it continued to control the game, keeping the majority of play in front of Skidmore’s goal.
“We dominated the game,” said head coach David Eldredge ’81. “In some ways, that can actually make it more difficult to score because you’re always right around the goal, and there’s not a lot of room to get around and maneuver.”
After a slow start to the second chukker, Cornell broke loose from its scoring frustration, with a rapid succession of seven goals to put the Red up 13-2 at the half. Senior Molly Buck led the scoring with four goals in the period.
“Molly is one who’s stepped up in a big way. She’s blossomed a lot this year,” commented Eldredge. “She’s believing in herself a lot more. She’s going out and creating and doing things she never thought she could do.”
With an 11-goal lead, Eldredge was able to give playing time to some of the younger players on the team, starting sophomore Molly Heermans, alongside freshman recruits Ariel Katz and Julie Nicholson in the second half.
Overcoming some nerves in the beginning of third chukker, Cornell’s substitutes were able to extend the Red’s lead over the Thoroughbreds. Nicholson led the scoring with seven goals.
“She’s got the abilities and the skills,” said Eldredge of Nicholson. “She was just a little tight in the third chukker and then she relaxed and she started showing why she was recruited.”
The women will face a tougher match against Colorado State tomorrow night at 8 p.m.
Asked if his team was up to the challenge Eldredge replied, “They love challenges and they love to come out and play those good teams. I think we can win the game, but it’s going to be a good competitive game.”
“It’ll be a good game,” agreed senior Marisa Bianchi. “They’re able to hit. They’re able to ride.”
The men’s polo team plays its second game today at 7:15 p.m. against the Valley Forge Military Academy.
Archived article by Paul Testa