The men’s and women’s polo teams took on the University of Connecticut only to see mixed results. While the men’s team fell to the Huskies at home in a close 18-17 match, the women flatted their competition in a pair of home and away matches, outscoring UConn 28-6 and 22-4.
The loss for the men’s team was a result of a stagnant first half. Though the squad picked up momentum by the end of the second chukker, in the end, Cornell could not close in on UConn’s early lead.
“This was the tale of two halves. In the first half, we knew the UConn team was going to come in very tough, and we basically stunk — we were terrible in the first half. We didn’t hit balls, we didn’t take men out, we just were not doing anything that we normally do,” said head coach David Eldredge. “I would like to throw away the first half, and keep the second half.”
The Red’s slow start allowed the Huskies to achieve a sizeable lead, and UConn was ahead, 10-1, at one point during the first half before Cornell came around to win the third chukker.
“We started to get the smelling salts out about two-thirds of the way through the second period, and we started to show some signs of life. In the third chukker we jumped right out, we got three goals and got within three goals of them,” Eldredge said.
At that point in the game, the Red needed to make up some ground in terms of offensive attempts. Unfortunately, Cornell came close but was not able to overtake its opponent in the final seconds of the game.
“The fourth chukker was actually where our guys showed the talent that they have and showed the abilities that they have. UConn came out and took the first goal and then we shut them out from that point and dominated the chukker,” Eldredge said. “We got it back; it was within a goal and we had a couple of attempts at goal in the last 30 seconds, but we just couldn’t put the tying goal home to move forward.”
The women’s team started off its weekend by hosting UConn on Friday and overtaking its guest, 28-6.
Though senior captain Lizzie Wisner, junior Ali Hoffman and freshman Kailey Eldredge are still getting used to playing together as a starting team, the group did not show a lack of experience on the field.
“We played really well on the teamwork aspect of it. We were reading each other very well and we were able to stay open and almost ahead of the other team because we knew where we were going with the ball at all times,” Wisner said.
Eldredge pointed out that the fairly untested Red team showed some early nervousness in coming up against its regional rival, but that the players worked well together from the start.
“What really showed out on the field was that we were more balanced and that our players actually did work with one another better than the UConn players did. We read each other’s passes better. If we missed a play, we were there to back one another up a lot quicker and a lot more efficiently than the other team was,” Eldredge said.
The results for the women’s away match against UConn proved similar to those of its previous game.
“We picked right up where we left off on Friday night, which was nice to do in an away situation. We got the lead in the first chukker, 5-1, and came out ahead,” Eldredge said.
After shutting out the Huskies in the second chukker, the Red was ahead by a comfortable 12-1 lead at halftime. Though UConn fought back to beat Cornell, 3-2, in the third chukker, the Red ultimately secured a 22-4 win against its competitors.
“It was nice to be able to do that to our biggest rival in their home arena and from the girls’ perspective we felt really good coming out of the weekend,” Eldredge said.
Original Author: Laura Dwulet