Jason Ben Nathan / Sun File Photo

Cornell polo is underway in its 100th season.

October 15, 2019

‘Our Goal is to Win it All’: Starting Program’s 100th Season, Polo Teams Have Sights Set on National Title

Print More

Beginning their 100th season, Cornell’s women’s and men’s polo teams are looking to make this season count. They traveled to Bluestone Farm in Montgomery, N.Y. over the weekend for the first-ever meetings between the clubs.

In their second match of the season, the women cruised to a 13-2 victory over Bluestone, flipping the script on a tough 16-13 loss to Skidmore on Oct. 6.

After the win, newly appointed head coach Branden Van Loon was very proud of his squad. He praised the team for its high level of play and excellent communication.

“The men and women thrived in the larger outdoor arena,” Van Loon said.

The women were not the only ones who left Bluestone with success. The men also played well in their match and came out on the winning end of a tight 9-7 game. Junior Jed Cogan led the way for the team, contributing all around the playing field.

“I think overall the trip was a success for both the men’s and women’s team,” Cogan said. “For us, it served as an opportunity to further build team chemistry, given that we are adjusting to the addition of two new talented freshmen.”

Cogan, who is also the team’s captain for the 2019-2020 campaign, joined the Red after playing for Southern Methodist University. As a member of the SMU squad, he played a pivotal role in leading the team to the intercollegiate finals in 2018. Cogan and his team have high hopes for the team this year.

“Our goal is to win it all,” Cogan said. “I think right now we are all looking forward to what the journey has in store for us.”

Cornell polo’s athletes are part of perhaps the most consistently talented Cornell athletic teams. Since a men’s polo team was adopted by the university in 1919, both the men’s and women’s programs have been establishing themselves as two of the top programs in the entire nation.

The men’s team’s last national championship season came in 2005. Since this dream year, the men have secured a top three national finish in every season since. Many players on the women’s team still remember the taste of a national championship from 2016 — the team’s third national championship in the last 10 years.

After former head coach David Eldredge ’81 stepped away from both the men’s and women’s teams after 34 years, Van Loon is new to the helm, looking to lead the teams toward spring’s national championships.

With the historic 100th season of Cornell polo now underway, the women will play their first home match against Melinda’s Prospect on Oct. 19 while the men will square off against Westport at home on Oct. 18.