There are two very successful teams at CSU that most people are unaware of: the men’s and women’s club polo teams.
Last spring the men took second at regionals. The women not only won regionals, but also went on to play in the National Championship where they lost a tough battle to Cornell. While the fall season serves as preparation for the spring, the Ram polo players are already looking sharp.
The men’s team faced New Mexico State on Friday night in a very close game. New Mexico State got out to an early lead and headed into the fourth chukker leading 11-8. There are four seven-and-a-half-minute chukkers in a polo match and can be compared to a quarter in football. CSU finished the game strong by scoring three more goals and ending the game tied at 11. Senior Curtis Conklin wishes the Rams could have pulled off a victory.
“We did not play well because we have not played together very much and we still need to get our timing down,” Conklin said. “It was our worst game of the year and we should have beat them.”
One key link that the team is missing this fall is All-American Nick Cifuni who is not playing this semester but is expected to return in the spring.
The women’s team played New Mexico State on Saturday and had a lot more success. The team had a spectacular offensive showing and absolutely dominated New Mexico State, shutting them down with a score of 19-0 at halftime. The Rams hope they are hoping to carry their success from last year into this season.
“We have a lot of talent on our team,” junior Lyndsay Hackman said. “We hope to do well this season and our main goal is to beat Cornell.”
The CSU polo program attributes its success to the large amount of people involved. There are three levels on both the men and women’s sides that combine for over 60 members. People who have never played before spend a semester at the beginner level, before moving up to the junior varsity team. Once they have gained enough experience, they can fight for positions on varsity. The teams have no coaches and depend strongly on knowledgeable veterans and alumni.
The next games will take place next week starting on Tuesday when the teams travel to New York to play in the Snow Tournament. It is an honor that the men and women’s teams are going since only the top six teams in the country are invited to play. Both teams will be the only representatives from the Western region.
The women’s team will be especially excited to play because they are scheduled for a rematch against Cornell. The men’s team will also play Cornell and both teams will also have games against Yale.