Cornell’s polo teams were unable to secure victories heading into this week’s Eastern Regional championships. The women’s team experienced back-to-back losses as they fell in matches to the Toronto Polo Club and UConn. The men also came up empty in their lone match against Toronto.
In Ithaca on Friday night, the women’s team competed for three chukkers before injuries and inexperience led to an eventual 14-9 loss to Toronto. In the second half, head coach David Eldredge ’81 was forced to pull junior Ariel Katz when she re-aggravated a knee injury – the Red’s one goal deficit was quickly turned into five.
“Ariel has so much experience. [When she went out], it really showed how much she is a key part of the equation,” Eldredge said.
Katz’s injury was not serious enough to hold her out of the second match on Sunday, as she returned to the lineup to face the Huskies in Storrs, Conn. Cornell held an early lead before UConn went ahead 4-3 after the first chukker – it would never relinquish that lead.
The second period proved to be the game changer, as UConn extended its lead to six goals.
“The second chukker was an aberration,” Eldredge said. “They rode the one horse that was stronger than all of the rest.”
Usually, Cornell would reap the benefits of that strong horse in the exchange before the final chukker, but because UConn’s ponies had participated in two matches earlier in the weekend, they were all rather fatigued in the later stages of the game.
“Our girls could tell the horses were tired,” Eldredge said. “The horse situation usually balances out, but we know we only lost by a goal when the horses were on a even plane.”
The women’s team will look forward to a potential rematch with UConn during regionals, which begin this Friday.
“Before we didn’t think we could compete with them,” Eldredge said after the 21-14 loss. “Now we feel we have a shot at them at regionals.”
On the men’s side, in a game ridden with penalties, Toronto’s superb foul shooting proved to be the difference as the Red lost 23-14.
Toronto’s A.J. Sharpstein was surgical from the foul lines, scoring eight of his 12 goals from the charity stripes and continually making the Red pay for their mishaps.
The game seemed like it might get out of hand early in the second half when a free goal, because of a dangerous riding penalty, gave Toronto a 13-6 lead. The Red would not go away, however, and was able to come within two goals midway through the final chukker.
“We were able to attack them and cover up all their players,” Eldredge said. “Early on we were not doing that, and it was a huge problem.”
After the lead was narrowed, tempers began to flair and there were several confrontations between members of the opposing teams. The Red was never able to settle back into the game after the commotion and Toronto dominated the final four minutes of the chukker – Cornell surrendered the game’s final seven goals.
“It is the nature of a very competitive game that there will be a lot of fouls,” Eldredge said. “It really had an effect on our emotions. We need to learn how to retain our focus for the entire match.”
Archived article by Patrick Blakemore Sun Staff Writer
On Friday night, it seemed as if things would not go as planned seeding-wise in the ECACHL tournament after No. 5 St. Lawrence and No. 10 Quinnipiac posted convincing upsets over their higher-ranked opponents. However, in the end, the conference’s top-4 seeds will all play in Albany, N.Y., this weekend at the Pepsi Arena. No. 1 Dartmouth will take on No. 4 Harvard, and No. 3 Cornell, which swept No. 9 Clarkson after two tough-fought double overtime games at Lynah Rink, will face central New York rival, No. 2 Colgate. The game times are at 4:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., respectively.
No. 1 Dartmouth defeats No. 11 Yale, 2-0
Game 1: Green 5, Bulldogs 1
After playing the longest game ever a weekend ago in a five-overtime win over Union, Yale was literally on its hind legs against a rested Dartmouth squad, and the Green took full advantage early. Tanner Glass and Sean Offers opened the Green’s account in the first period, before John Gibson and Glass added a pair more in the second. A David Meckler goal put the Bulldogs within three, but Mike Ouellette’s power play goal won Game 1 for the Green. Dartmouth’s Mike Devine made 35 saves in the win.
Game 2: Green 3, Bulldogs 1
Although Brad Mills put the visitors ahead at the 9:39 mark in the first period, Yale’s discipline got it into trouble early. On a 5-on-3 power play, Ouellette, off a pass from Offers, tied the game up. Less than four minutes later, Ryan Bellows scored the eventual game winner and Offers added a third 3:20 into the final period. Yale’s Alec Richards made 44 saves in the loss. Dartmouth has won 10 of its last 12 games.
No. 2 Colgate defeats No. 10 Quinnipiac, 2-1
Game 1: Bobcats 3, Raiders 0
Colgate could not solve Quinnipiac’s Bud Fisher, who went on to record 28 saves in a 3-0 win for the visiting team. With only six seconds left in the first period, Joe Dumais scored the eventual game-winner past Mark Dekanich. Chris Myers and Ben Nelson also added tallies in the third period to give the Bobcats Game 1.
Game 2: Raiders 5, Bobcats 3
Playing with the pressure of being a game down, Colgate responded by tying the series. The first period was a high scoring affair with Quinnipiac scoring two power play goals and the Raiders responding with three tallies of their own. Bobcat Reid Cashman knocked in Quinnipiac’s third power play goal of the night at the 3:07 mark in the second period, effectively tying the game, but five minutes later, Marc Fulton tallied the eventual game winner off assists from Ryan Smyth and Kyle Wilson. Jesse Winchester added another goal in the third to fortify the hosts’ lead.
Game 3: Raiders 4, Bobcats 0
Colgate booked its third-straight trip to Albany on Sunday night behind a 30 save shutout performance by Dekanich. Jon Smyth drew first blood for the hosts with 27 seconds left in the first period, before Tyler Burton extended Colgate’s lead to two at the 3:07 mark in the second. Quinnipiac was unable to get into the game, and tallies from Peter Bogdanich and Wilson in the third wrapped up the Raiders’ come-from-behind series win.
No. 4 Harvard defeats No. 5 St. Lawrence, 2-1
Game 1: Saints 5, Crimson 1
St. Lawrence fired a huge warning shot at Bright Hockey Rink in Game 1, as the Saints dominated the Crimson. A Kevin DeVergilio strike put the Saints ahead before Charlie Giffin scored 10 minutes later to extend the visitors’ lead. In the third period, DeVergilio earned his second tally of the game off an assist by Brock McBride. Harvard was able to pull back within two with a Ryan Maki goal, but Kyle Rank and a Drew Bagnall empty-netter sealed Harvard’s fate on Friday.
Game 2: Crimson 3, Saints 2
An embarrassed Harvard squad was able to come back from a goal deficit to beat St. Lawrence on Saturday. While Tom Walsh scored a power play goal for the hosts at the 11:00 mark in the first period, Chase Trull and Mike Madill made the score, 2-1, for the Saints with tallies in the second period. But, Harvard would immediately fight its way back. Maki scored his second goal of the weekend just 59 seconds into the third period, before Dave Watters notched the eventual game-winner with just 2:26 left in regulation, sending the series to a third game.
Game 3: Crimson 8, Saints 4
It was a long night for the visitors, which used three goaltenders during Game 3, as Harvard returned the spanking it was given on Friday. A short-handed Tyler Magura goal at the 11:10 mark in the first period built the Crimson a three-goal lead, before Jamie Parker pulled one back for the visitors seven minutes later. However, the smallest deficit St. Lawrence would face after that is two goals and with 9:27 left in the second period, Steve Mandes put the hosts up, 5-2, with the eventual game-winning goal. Two tallies from Dan Murphy and a power play strike from Watters sealed St. Lawrence’s fate.
Archived article by Brian TsaoSun Senior Writer