October 23, 2007

Both Polo Teams Show Progress with Wins

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The men’s and women’s polo teams came into the weekend looking to rebound after disappointing starts to their seasons. Not only did the Red turn things around, but both teams came up with huge performances, with the women’s team posting a resounding 24-5 victory over UMass and the men’s team keeping pace with its own win against Boston University, 20-11.
For both teams, this weekend marked just the second game of the season, but was a weekend that produced satisfying results.
David Eldredge ’81, coach of both the men’s and women’s teams, was very happy with the teams’ improvements and noted that the Red were able to extract a lot of beneficial lessons from their first week losses.
“We learned a lot after our first game,” Eldredge said. “After the first game we were able to really spot out specific weaknesses that we had. We worked on those things to try and improve.”
The women opened up the weekend on Friday night at Oxley Equestrian Center in Ithaca, facing off against the Minutemen. The Minutemen opened up the scoring in the first chukker, but that lead was short lived as the Red bounced back with four consecutive goals.
The Red’s three starters, juniors Ari Constant, and Emily Bold and Erin Bold, displayed their firepower, mounting a relentless offensive attack. The Red closed the first half leading 11-3.
In the third chukker, senior Amanda Burns came into replace Emily Bold and had no trouble contributing to the offence, scoring 5 goals in the game.
Constant finished the game with 10 goals, with Burns and Bold adding five each. Bold rounded out the scoring with three goals of her own. With the Red’s potent offense and stellar defense, the final score came in at 24-5 in favor of Cornell.
Eldredge was very impressed with Constant’s overall performance, particularly her leadership.
“She has taken the step this year that we were hoping she would,” Eldredge said. “As far as moving forward and being the captain, really leading the team, and really going out there and showing them the best way to do it. She is showing all the talent that we knew she had last year, but with that extra year of maturity, being in her junior year, she’s really starting to blossom and is turning into the player that we believed she would be.”
The action continued at Oxley Saturday night, as the men’s team squared off against BU.
In the first chukker, the Red built some momentum right out of the gates, with junior captain Bobby Harvey and freshman Max Constant notching three goals apiece in the first.
Red junior Rich Weidel complimented his solid defense by contributing to the scoring, and Harvey and Constant continued their hot play throughout the second chukker, ending the half with a 14-5 lead over BU.
Senior Neil Mittelman played in place of Constant in the third chukker that saw Harvey beat the Terriers for three more goals.
Constant came back in for the fourth chukker and continued his sensational play, potting three more goals on route to his total of nine for the night. Harvey’s scoring talent was also on display throughout the night, as he notched nine of his own.
Harvey attributed the team’s offensive success to better teamwork and to a calmer atmosphere out on the field.
“We were working on playing together as a team,” Harvey said. “That’s what we were practicing on this week leading up to the game. We all came out there level-headed.”
Harvey added that the team members executed their individual roles, enabling the team to perform better as a whole. He also cited Constant’s tremendous improvement as a key to the team’s success.
“Max and I were really firing up front there on offense and Rich was doing a great job taking care of the defense,” Harvey explained. “[Constant] did a great job. I was really proud of him and happy with the way he played.”
Coach Eldredge was pleased with the offensive prowess that Max Constant and Bobby Harvey displayed Saturday night, explaining that the freshman Constant is adjusting very well to playing with his new teammates.
“Max is a tremendous talent… It’s just [about] getting that familiarity between the three of them, and there was a huge improvement in that this week,” Eldredge said.