On Oct. 8, the Women’s Polo team met at the Oxley Equestrian Center in Ithaca, NY to face off against Melinda’s Prospect.
The beginning of the match looked promising for the Red, with senior Rachel Booth scoring three out of the five goals in the first chukker. But by the end of the second, Melinda’s Prospect had scored six goals, outscoring the Red 9-5.
In the 3rd chukker, two goals by junior Lea Jih-Vieira and another by junior Jasmine Umrigar kept the Red in a reasonable position. Sophia Neis scored an additional four goals in the 4th, but in the end, the Red was ultimately conquered by Melinda, losing 20-12.
Despite the results, Jih-Vieira remains optimistic on the outlook for the rest of the season.
“I want us to win nationals,” she said. “We’re all very motivated to make that happen and like I say, dream big.”
Booth expressed similar sentiments, while stressing the importance of teamwork for upcoming competitions.
“A lot of our strengths lie in our ability to work together and to support each other in the arena,” Booth said. “The challenge now is maintaining it and bringing that same level of play to the tournament at UVA next week.”
The men’s team fared better against their opponent, Old Chatham, winning 16-8. The Red maintained a significant lead throughout the match, with sophomore Taylor Palacios paving the way by scoring a game-total of six goals. Juniors Pablo Herrera and Patricio Fraga-Errecart also contributed four goals apiece. The win marked the second victory for the Men’s team since the start of their season, bringing their record to 2-0.
“We wanted to win and show what we can do,” Palacios said, “We went in with the goal of communicating and I think we were successful with that. We didn’t know we were going to be able to beat them but we started off with momentum, kept going, and it went really well.”
Palacios, Booth and Jih-Vieira look ahead to when the Red will compete at the University of Virginia Invitational. The high levels of competition will allow them to grow as a team and learn from experienced players from across the country. The Invitational will be held in Charlottesville, V.A. from Oct. 20 to Oct. 24.