February 12, 2008

M. Polo Earns Win Against Gardnertown Club Team

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If you think that the men’s polo team relaxes when playing non-NCAA opponents, then think again. The Red welcomed Gardnertown, a men’s polo club based in Newburgh, N.Y, to Oxley Equestrian Center on Saturday night. Taking on more experienced 30-something-year-old players in front of a large home crowd didn’t faze Cornell, however, as the host team came out on top, 22-11.
“It’s not much of a problem for me [to face older players],” said freshman Max Constant. “I just go out there, try to keep a cool head, play smooth and do everything that I normally do. Just because they are 30 doesn’t intimidate me, nor does it mean they are better.”
Constant, the Red’s leading goal-scorer, lit up the scoreboard with 12 goals, and junior Bobby Harvey wasn’t far behind with eight tallies on the night. Junior Rich Weidel added one goal of his own, but the significance of his role in the game did not register as much in his box score stats.
“Rich has come out in the last few games and improved immensely,” said head coach David Eldredge ’81. “Although it doesn’t show up in his column in the box score, it’s showing up in Max’s and Bobby’s [stats]. Other teams are having to account for Rich so much that Max and Bobby have a lot of time and space to score.”
[img_assist|nid=27676|title=Streeeetch|desc=Youth triumped over experience for the men’s polo team this weekend, as the Red defeated Gardnertown, 22-11.|link=node|align=left|width=360|height=509]One pony goal was also tallied by the Red in the double-digit victory.
“We actually performed a lot better than I thought we would against this team,” Eldredge said. “We came out firing on all cylinders.”
After jumping out to a three-goal lead, the Red overcame a comeback by Gardnertown and established a two-goal margin, 5-3, going into the second chukker. Cornell had its best chukker of the season in the second period of the contest, outscoring Gardnertown 8-1.
“We have managed short spells of beautiful polo throughout the year, but this was the first time we played an entire chukker of almost perfect polo. It was fun to watch the guys really gel together and compete the way I really envisioned them to be able to,” Eldredge said.