It is that time of year again. The fall schedules for the polo teams are winding down, and the season of gift giving and sugar plum fairies is waiting right around the corner. However, the Christmas spirit hasn’t rubbed off on the men’s or the women’s polo teams just yet. Neither team plans to give their opponents this weekend a very cheerful time.
The men (4-3) take on Skidmore tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Oxley Equestrian Center. Head coach David Eldredge ’81 hopes to see his team put forth a good performance and sophomore Brian Fairclough couldn’t agree more.
“I hope we come out strong and crush them,” Fairclough said. “We’ve had success against Skidmore in the past and everyone is stepping it up. Finishing strong will be a great warmup for the spring season.”
Due to this past success against Skidmore – the Red won 18-10 and 21-7 in the past two meetings – there might be a few other names in the spotlight. Aside from the four who usually see most of the playing time – Fairclough, sophomore Stan Feldman, freshman Bobby Harvey, and senior William Yang – freshman Andrew Fairclough and sophomore Dan Crespo are expecting to see more involvement.
However, these high hopes don’t come without hard work and preparation. To get ready for this game, the players have been watching tapes of past matches and working on their mental focus. The women (3-4) take on Michigan State this Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at the Oxley Equestrian Center. Although the girls have not played MSU before, they expect the Spartans to be much weaker than its rival UConn.
“We have to maintain a high level of play regardless of who our opponent is,” Garcia said. “We don’t want to play down to our competition. But if Michigan State comes out stronger than we expected, we have to make sure we play up to that level.”
All in all, the women’s team is happy with its performance in the fall season, regardless of how the game goes against MSU. But it would be a lie to say that each girl doesn’t want to end the fall with a bang, making a great bridge to a highly anticipated spring season. In fact, the future is very bright especially with the experience that the girls realized this fall and with the return of juniors Ariel Katz and Julie Nicholson in the spring.
“We really lived up to our expectation this fall,” Garcia said. “The team, each one of us, learned a lot about ourselves and polo from the experience. I’m really looking forward to the spring. Julie and Ariel bring a lot to the table. We are going to be a much better team.”
Archived article by Roman Barinas
Sun Staff Writer