The 2015 USPA National Intercollegiate Polo

interCornell University Women’s Polo Team and Colorado State University Men’s Polo Team are the 2015 USPA National Intercollegiate Polo Champions

Cornell University defeated University of Virginia 17-16; Colorado State University defeated Texas A&M 20-17 in Saturday’s finals are the University of Connecticut

The United States Polo Association® (USPA) today announced that Cornell University defeated University of Virginia 17-16 to win the Katy Did Memorial Trophy, signifying the intercollegiate polo women’s champion, and Colorado State University defeated Texas A&M University 20-17 to win the Townsend Cup trophy, signifying the intercollegiate polo men’s champion. The tournament was played at the University of Connecticut’s Horsebarn Hill Arena.

In the women’s final, Cornell started strong, outscoring defending champion Virginia 7-2 by the end of the first chukker. In the second chukker, the Virginia rallied back with seven goals— five of those goals came from its star Julia Smith. The second chukker ended 11-9 with Cornell still in the lead. In the second half, both teams exchanged goals with Virginia slowly climbing back in the fourth. They eventually tied the match, and then took a one-goal lead. Cornell, however, came back in the last chukker, and won the match 17-16. Cornell and Virginia have met in the finals for the past five years, with Virginia winning three times and Cornell twice. (Photo: Elena Wicker, Devin Cox, Coach David Eldredge, Anna Winslow, and Emma Eldredge)

Following the women’s championship match, the USPA National Intercollegiate Championship tournament concluded with the men’s final between Colorado State and Texas A&M. In the first chukker, Texas A&M scored five goals in quick succession, closing out the first 7-2. In the second chukker, Colorado State University found their stride, and led by Kareem Rosser, they scored six goals. Texas A&M, however, sustained their lead, adding 5 goals to end the half 12-8. In the third chukker, Colorado State added seven goals, and held Texas A&M to 3 goals to end the chukker in a 15-15 tie. The final chukker started out with both teams going goal-for-goal until Jared Berg scored two back-to-back goals, giving Colorado State the title with a final score of 20-17.

“Parity is the word that encompasses this week’s USPA National Intercollegiate Championship. All but one game was decided by three goals or less. Two ended in a shootout. The balance between the top teams in the nation was staggering,” said Duncan Huyler, Chairman of the United States Polo Association Intercollegiate/Interscholastic Committee. “The incredible horses allowed for the talent of our student athletes to be showcased in front of thousands of grateful fans and supporters, and the University of Connecticut facility was perfect.”

Finalists Kareem Rosser (Colorado State University), Julia Smith (University of Virginia) and Cacho Galindo (Texas A&M University), are members of Team USPA, the United States Polo Association’s player development program. Team USPA was created in 2010 to allow young players from around the United States to enhance their skills and grow the next generation of American polo. Team USPA provides mentoring, training, networking, and playing opportunities to young players so they can lead the way for the future of polo in America.

The 2015 Women’s United States Polo Association National Intercollegiate Championship All-Stars include: Julia Smith (UVA), Anna Winslow (Cornell), Audry Presano (UCONN), and Carly Presano (UCONN). Nicole Johnson (Oregon State) won the USPA Connie Upchurch Memorial Sportsmanship Award.

The 2015 Men’s All-Stars include: Cacho Galindo (Texas A&M), Kareem Rosser (Colorado State), Ignacio Masias (Cornell), and Maxi Langlois (Southern Methodist). Dalton Woodfin (Texas A&M) won the USPA Connie Upchurch Memorial Sportsmanship Award.

“The best of the best in college sports does not get much better than this! Top athletes and horses were showcased this week in edge-of-your-seat-excitement at the USPA 2015 national intercollegiate championships,” said Amy Fraser, USPA Director of Intercollegiate and Interscholastic Polo. “A very special thank you to all the teams, players, coaches, horse providers, umpires and our University of Connecticut hosts that made this year’s nationals a great success!”

Photo Credit: Mike Ryan Photography