November 5, 2012

POLO | Cornell Earns Decisive Wins Against UConn, Skidmore

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The men and women’s polo teams trampled opponents by double digits this past weekend to raise their records to 3-1 and 5-0, respectively. The men beat UConn, 26-16, at home on Friday while the women topped the Huskies, 23-5, in Saturday’s home match-up and crushed Skidmore, 32-4, in an away game on Sunday.The men were facing UConn for the second weekend in a row after defeating the Huskies, 26-11, the previous weekend in Conn. A slow start hurt the Red, who fell behind by several goals in the first chukker before recording its first tally. The men managed to claw their way back to a 7-4 finish at the end of the first, then took the lead early in the second chukker.“Sometimes, it just takes a chukker to warm up and loosen up,” said senior Connor Pardell, who led the Red with nine goals. “It happens in all sports, it just happened to us. Towards the end of the first chukker, we started coming together a little bit and outscored them … We used that momentum to carry on to the second chukker.”At the half, the men led by a narrow margin of 11-9, but more than doubled their score in the third chukker to raise their tally to 23 goals. The Red added three more in the fourth to round out the scoring and finish with the same number of goals as the week before. Despite the similar score, senior captain Branden Van Loon said this past weekend’s home game was easier for the team.“The first game was definitely a little bit more challenging because I think it took our team a little while to adapt to the different ring and different horses,” he said. “Whereas in the home game this past weekend, we were on our own horses and we also had a couple different players.”Six different players were cycled throughout the men’s game, while a total of seven different women’s players saw action between the game against UConn and the game against Skidmore. Junior captain Kailey Eldredge, junior Maddie Olberg and junior Mariah Lavitt started for the Red in the first game, with senior captain Ali Hoffman swapping for Eldredge every other chukker. Up 12-3 at the half, the Red posted seven more in the third chukker and four in the fourth to bring the final score at 23-5.Cornell continued its momentum into the game against Skidmore, running away with the game after the first chukker. Freshman Devin Cox led with 12 goals, while fellow freshman Anna Winslow followed with nine. Overall, the women have outscored opponents in this season by a combined score of 131-29. Despite this disparity, head coach David Edlredge ’81 emphasized that each game is important for the improvement of both the team and individual players.“There’s definitely a lot of things to take out of these games,” he said. “It’s one of the focuses. We pick out little minute things for each player and go ‘you’ve got to work on this.’”The women will be able to work on their skills when they travel to play UConn again next week. Eldredge is looking forward to the opportunity of riding on strange horses, and said he was happy with the competition in the first game against the Huskies.“I expected them to be a little less experienced and schooled than they were and they did quite well,” he said. “It was impressive to me that they had gotten to the point that they’re at in such a short time.”The men had been scheduled to face off against the University of Kentucky next weekend, but after the Wildcats had scheduling problems the Red will now play the Maryland Polo Club, which is made up of mostly former collegiate players. Van Loon said the change in teams is both positive and negative for the team.“There’s good and bad to it,” he said. “Whereas I would have liked Kentucky to come up so we would have a better idea of where we stood in the country overall, playing the more mature, more seasoned Maryland club team is going to provide a challenge and playing style that most of the intercollegiate teams aren’t going to be able to provide for us.”

Original Author: Emily Berman