Polo Players Edition

JUL 2018

Polo Players' Edition is the official publication of the U.S. Polo Association. Dedicated to the sport of polo, it features player profiles, game strategy, horse care, playing tips, polo club news and tournament results.

Issue link: https://polo.epubxp.com/i/996749

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Page 25 of 67

24 POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N Texas A&M tops both men's and women's divisions PHOTOS BY JIM BREMNER/JFBPHOTOS.COM I t was a historic moment in intercollegiate competition as Texas A&M University's men's and women's teams brought home titles at the National Intercollegiate Championship finals, sponsored by U.S. Polo Assn., on Saturday, April 7, at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in Carpinteria, California. The feat has only been accomplished by two teams: UC- Davis ('78, '81, '82, '83) and UVA ('93). In the women's final, Texas A&M easily rode away with the 14-5 win over University of Virginia, garnering its third national title after a 23-year dry spell. The men's final proved a bitter battle until the last, with TAMU men fighting back in the fourth chukker to tie the score. A powerhouse since the early 1990s, TAMU pulled off the win after six grueling rounds of penalty shootouts, dashing Southern Methodist University's national title hopes for a second year in a row. Ten USPA Intercollegiate teams from across the country and Canada traveled to the West Coast for their chance at a national title. The four regional winners from both the men's and women's divisions (Northeastern—Cornell University; Southeastern—University of Virginia; Central—Texas A&M University; Western—California Polytechnic State University) were joined by two men's wildcard recipients: Western Ontario and Southern Methodist University. Men's Division The intercollegiate men's division began with the two wild card teams squaring off in a quarter final. The game came down to the wire with SMU securing its bid into the semi-finals with a 10-8 win over Western. The second men's quarter-final pitted TAMU against Cal Poly. TAMU rode into the second semi-final with a decisive 24-3 win. In the men's semi-final round, SMU faced off against Cornell. From the onset, game play was choppy as both teams struggled to keep the ball in play long enough to move down the arena. Utilizing the wall to its advantage, SMU picked up back-to-back goals in the first chukker, but Cornell countered with an impressive backshot to goal by Ryan Saul. SMU focused defensively on powerful Cornell forward Lorenzo Masias, allowing Jake Klentner to maneuver through the arena, opening opportunities for his teammates to score. SMU benefitted from a mistake by Cornell that sent the ball through its own goal near the end of the second chukker, giving SMU a slight 6-4 lead headed into halftime. "Lorenzo [Masias] is such a tough player that we thought it best to dedicate one man to him," JT Shiverick said. "The Double trouble Texas A&M 's F rit z Fe l hab e r, C hrist ian Ay cin e n a, M arian o S il va, G ide on K o t kowski, coac h M ike M cC l e ary , M arissa We l l s, K e n dal l Pl an k, Al l y Vau ghn an d C ou rt n ey Price

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