By ELANI COHEN
The Cornell men’s and women’s polo teams both split their weekend sets. Both squads lost their matches against the University of Virginia but came out victorious the next day. The women rebounded from the loss by toppling University of Massachusetts, while the men’s team took its win of the weekend against Skidmore College. Unable to remain undefeated, the Red ended the weekend with a 3-1 overall record.
The men’s team began its weekend with a match against the University of Virginia, which was played in Charlottesville, Virginia. Sophomore Ignacio Masias, senior Nick Stieg and freshman Kamran Pirasteh started for the Red. The Red started the first chukker behind, 2-0, but the squad was able to come back and keep its lead throughout the second chukker. Seniors Hakan Karabey and Alex Langlois replaced Stieg and Pirasteh, and the second half started with Cornell in the lead, 7-5. The third chukker was tough for both teams with non-stop back-and-forth play as they traded goals, but Cornell prevailed and went into the fourth with a two-point advantage. During the fourth, UVA tied up the match, sending the teams into a shootout. The Cavaliers took the win during the shootout, and the match ended with an overall score of 10-9.
“Overall, I thought the game against UVA went well. They are a really tough team, but we were able to control the pace for most of the game,” Masias said. “Even though we were ahead until the last chukker, they came back at the end and brought it to a penalty shootout, which could have gone either way. Even though we couldn’t beat them this time, I think we showed what we are capable of.”
In its second match of the weekend, the men’s team traveled to Saratoga Springs, New York to face off against the Thoroughbreds. The match began with starters Karabey, Pirasteh and Stieg finding themselves behind at the end of the first chukker. The Red pulled through and quickly scored two goals within the first few minutes of the second chukker to get back on track. Throughout the second chukker, there was a lot of trading goals between the two teams, and they entered the second half tied. Cornell took the lead during the third and ended the match victorious with an overall score of 19-14. This was a very high scoring match with Pirasteh tallying 10 goals, followed by Stieg with eight and Karabey with one.
The women’s squad traveled to Charlottesville, VA on Friday to match up against the University of Virginia. Juniors Elena Wicker and Anna Winslow as well as Sophomore Emma Eldredge started the match for the Red and found themselves quickly falling behind in the first chukker. The second chukker was quiet, with each team able to score just once until a pony goal put UVA in the lead. During the third, the Red was able to tie up the match with an overall score of 6-6. Both teams kept up their defense throughout the fourth chukker. However, within the final minute, the match came down to UVA getting a penalty goal that the Red could not come back from. The match ended in UVA’s favor with a final score of 9-8.
Senior captain Nick Stieg scored eight goals in the Red’s second matchup of the weekend against Skidmore College to help lift the Red to a 9-8 victory. (Connor Archard / Sun Sports Photography Editor).