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 30 of 67

POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 29 historic rival Cornell and set a fast pace early on. Opening the game with a strong first chukker, UVA made every minute count, scoring five goals with each UVA member adding to the scoreboard. Countering with a single penalty conversion, Cornell was unable to defend its goal against the aggressive plays of UVA, ending the first 5-1. "I thought they put in a tremendous effort today," UVA coach Lou Lopez commented. "For every goal that Cornell scored we came back and fired another one in their goal." Recovering from the first period, Cornell returned with renewed intensity in the second and steadily began to make successful plays happen. A field goal from Shariah Harris was followed by two consecutive goals from Hannah Noyes, which began to propel Cornell in the right direction, yet the scoreboard stood 7-4 in favor of UVA at halftime. Penalties continued to be called on both sides in the second half as the teams battled for possession. Back and forth the goals went, UVA's Katie Mitcham adding two to open the third. Claiming both her first goal and the first two- pointer of the game, Anna Ullman kept Cornell competitive and within three headed into the final chukker, 10-7. Mitcham started off the fourth once again with a goal while teammate Sadie Bryant came through with her fourth of the day, a two-point shot to seal the hard- earned win, 13-8. Finals day would have a rematch of the 2017 national final, with UVA looking to defend its title. Play was powerful from the start, as both teams fought hard for control, riding Cal Poly's quick horses. Unstoppable on offense, Texas A&M's Marissa Wells scored four unanswered goals in the first while her teammates successfully defended UVA players, clearing the way for her. Three consecutive goals for Texas A&M, all off of Wells' mallet, gave the Aggies a substantial lead midway through the second. After the second chukker walk break, UVA came together thanks to accurate penalty conversions by Jessica Schmitt and Sadie Bryant to end the first half, 7-2, with Texas A&M on top. Play resumed in the third with a skilled shot to goal from Texas A&M's Ally Vaughn who effectively carried the ball on the nearside then switched to the offside to score. She was quickly followed up by Wells who made her eighth and ninth goals of the day. Despite trailing by eight goals, UVA's spirits were not dampened. Back-to-back goals by Schmitt and Bryant helped get UVA back in the game to end the third 10-4 in favor of Texas A&M. Although UVA began to find its groove, it was not enough to overcome Texas A&M's offensive onslaught. The Aggies added four more goals to the tally in the fourth (two from Kendall Plank) to get all three players on the board. UVA countered with only one from Katie Mitcham before the final horn sounded to end the game, 14-5, crowning Texas A&M the 2018 National Intercollegiate Women's Champions. The win held special significance for Plank who is graduating this year. "It means the world to me. We have been in the finals for the past two years, and we lost in the finals both years, so this is a huge moment for me." When asked what she will miss most about college polo Plank replied, "Just being with my team, having this connection, and being able to travel and meet new players. It is so much fun and an experience that I will never forget." Women's All-Stars were awarded to UVA's Katie Mitcham and Jessica Schmitt, alongside newly-minted champions Kendall Plank and Marissa Wells of Texas A&M. The Connie Upchurch Women's Sportsmanship Award was presented to Sadie Bryant of UVA. Best Playing Pony honors were presented to Stanford University's Margarita who was part of Stanford's Best Playing String. Women's horses were provided by Cal Poly, Stanford and Jeff Scheraga. Texas A&M coach Mike McCleary, center, presents sportsmanship awards to Cornell's Dan Shaw and UVA's Sadie Bryant. Texas A&M Kendall Plank Courtney Price Alexandra Vaughn Marissa Wells UVA J essica Schmitt Sadie Bryant Katie Mitcham Meghan Milligan Cornell Shariah Harris Hannah Noyes Anna Ullmann Gillian Cowley Cal Poly Holly Hinnant Bridget Hobscheid Fiona McBride-Luman Trista Noland Maggie Papka Megan Wurden

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