April 4, 2006

Polo Teams Head To Second Round

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Yesterday, the men’s and women’s polo teams won in completely opposite fashion, with both earning spots in the semifinals of their respective USPA national tournaments. The women erased a seven goal deficit to come from behind and knock off Yale, 18-15, while the men raced out to a 19-0 halftime lead before cruising to a 27-9 victory over California-Davis.

The women’s game was a thriller all the way through with Yale looking like it might run away with the game early on in the second chukker.

“The girls were so nervous before the game,” said head coach David Eldredge ’81. “I was a little bit worried when Yale jumped up on us like that.”

Halftime jump-started the Red as it came out and scored all of the third chukker’s goals – giving them a 15-11 lead heading into the final seven and half minutes of play.

“We had a readjustment of attitude at halftime,” said junior Monica Ganley. “We were able to identify where we were playing weak and see where we could capitalize.”

Some penalties late in the final chukker allowed Yale within one goal at 16-15, but Ganley was able to tap in a tough angled shot to put the margin back at two before junior Julie Nicholson put the nail in the coffin with 18 seconds left to play.

Ganley, who was a substitute in the second half, seemed to supply the energy the Red needed to take down its foes from New Haven, Conn.

“I went to Monica and told her she needed to be the sparkplug,” Eldredge said. “She made some great plays and really worked hard and hustled for us all night.”

The Red now will await the winner of tomorrow night’s Colorado State-Virginia match.

There were no similarly nibbled fingernails in the men’s match, as UC-Davis never really put up a fight, surrendering three goals within the game’s first minute and 30 seconds. The Red resembled a well-oiled machine in the first half, scoring goals in a variety of different ways with every player getting a piece of the action.

“We really just played our game,” said junior Stan Feldman. “They didn’t have a chance of keeping up.”

The first half demonstrated how versatile and creative Cornell could be in finding the goal. Early in the second chukker, sophomore Brian Fairclough walloped a shot from almost near the mouth of his own goal, only to see the ball roll all the way down to the other end for the score. Because it was from behind the midline, the goal tallied two points.

“We have to be able to score from any place at any time,” Eldredge said. “That is the type of thing we need to compete with some of the other teams out here.”

UC-Davis would score nine second half goals to make the loss look a little less severe, but there was never any doubt that Cornell would come out victorious.

“I felt strongly that we would win the game,” Eldredge said. “I really didn’t think it would be like that, though.”

Cornell will face No. 1 seed Texas A&M tomorrow night in the semifinals.

Archived article by Patrick Blakemore
Sun Staff Writer