November 19, 2008

Men, Women Beat Kentucky By Wide Margins at Home

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With Sunday’s scheduled match against UConn postponed, the men’s polo team could focus solely on its intriguing showdown with Kentucky on Friday. Cornell beat Kentucky 22-11, after taking a 14-4 lead in the first half. The women also won their match against the Wildcats, 33-5, completing the sweep Saturday night at the Oxley Equestrian Center.[img_assist|nid=33729|title=Get your gallop on|desc=Junior Emily Bold (1) fights an opponent from UConn for the ball during the Red’s 17-8 win on Nov. 8 at the Oxley Equestrian Center.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
The Wildcats come from polo country, but their style of play is more adept to an outdoor venue.
“They were all outdoor players and inexperienced when it came to the wall,” explained sophomore Max Constant. “We were able to expose their weaknesses in the close proximity. We’re coached specifically to play in an arena and are much more in tune with how the arena game works.”
“It turned out they were pretty talented,” said Constant, “But [senior] Rich [Weidel] played really well. He hit all of his back shots and played really solid polo.”
Weidel’s high level of play was an important feature in the Red’s 22-11 win because Constant and Harvey patrolled the defensive half of the field, which translated into plenty of solo opportunities for Weidel.
“It was the best we played as a team all year,” said senior Bobby Harvey. “Max [Constant] and I played really well together and we got the ball to Rich, who put away some goals. We hit our highest level of play to date.”
Weidel was impressed with the fruits of a new system, installed by head coach David Eldredge ’81 at the beginning of the year.
“We’re really starting to play well together,” said Weidel. “Our new plan this year was to really spread out, be a passing team, and find gaps for each other. The adjustment period is starting to end. It felt really good to play together.”
Despite its early success, the 6-1 men’s squad has been the second most impressive team from Ithaca; the most impressive being the women’s team.
The undefeated women disposed of the Wildcats 33-5 Saturday night in yet another impressive performance.
“‘We played our game,’ as Coach Eldredge would say,” said senior Ariana Constant. “It was a fast paced, open game. Our shots and communication were dead on. We’re a physical and aggressive team, and this game demonstrated Cornell women’s polo at the best it’s been so far this year. All of the pieces fell into place.”
Constant contributed seven goals in three chukkers of play. Sophomore Lizzie Wisner played the whole game and totaled 15 lamp lighters. The senior Bold twins each played a half and continued their consistent play with five and three points for Emily and Erin, respectively. Senior Jessica Cross played one chukker and tallied three goals.