Cornell polo closed out its regular season last weekend with the men’s and women’s team each scoring sound wins over the Maryland Polo Club. The games provided a valuable tune-up for the Red, which will now turn its attention to nationals which will be played in Virginia this week. The men’s team got a chance to put coach David Eldredge’s ’81 words to the test Saturday night, as Eldredge suited up with the Maryland polo club. The Red came out a little slow in the first half, looking tentative on offense. The team’s sluggish play left it in a three goal hole, down 5-8 at the half, but the riders were able turn things around in the second half for a 16-14 win. “The first half, they had a little bit of trouble with us,” Eldredge said. “They weren’t pushing forward and they weren’t playing as much offense as they needed to.” Cornell regrouped at halftime and, after making some adjustments, came out in the third chukker playing much more assertively on offense, allowing the team to claw its way back into the game. Central to Cornell’s turnaround was the penalty shooting of senior Senter Johnson, whose conversions on penalties helped keep the Red riders in the game.
“From the field they struggled a little bit more,” Eldredge said. “The penalty shooting by Senter was key, and that’s something that’s going to be big for us down at nationals.”
Overall Eldredge was happy with the way the men are playing as they head to Virginia for nationals.
“Coming off of a week of break, it’s always good to have a game like that before going down to nationals because they’re going to have their hands full when they go down there,” Eldredge said.
Cornell will play on Thursday in Virginia against the winner of Wednesday’s Colorado State-Connecticut match up.
The women continued to ride high following their victory at regionals with a 14-13 win over the Maryland Polo Club.
Cornell was leading with five seconds to play, when Maryland was awarded a penalty that could have tied the game for it, but the shot missed wide, giving the Red a one-goal victory.
“The women played awesome last night,” Eldredge said. “They came right out from the get go and played some great polo.”
The game was marked by a fast pace, with the lead changing hands more times than a bottle of booze on a pirate ship.
Yet, the Red had an answer to every challenge the Maryland club presented, and, when the final buzzer sounded on the fourth chukker, Cornell remained on top with its one goal lead.
“That was a great tune up for them going down to nationals,” Eldredge said. “They played very well, and they felt very comfortable coming out of it.”
The women also begin play at nationals on Thursday, when they will face the winner of today’s U.C. Davis-Connecticut game.
Archived article by Paul Testa
Sun Staff Writer