The Cornell polo teams open their 2017-18 season this weekend in Charlottesville, Va. The women opened on Thursday at 8 p.m. against archrival Virginia, while the men began the season with a matchup against SMU on Friday at 6 p.m. at the Virginia Polo Center.
The women are coming off a 10-12 season that ended in the national semifinals with a one-goal loss to Virginia, its first round opponent. After winning two consecutuive national titles, Cornell went 0-3 against the Cavaliers a season ago. The winner of the match will square off with either Texas A&M or Cal Poly in the finals.
The Big Red men advanced to the national semifinals last season and return a pair of starters in senior Dan Shaw and sophomore Lorenzo Masias. Coming off a 16-4 campaign, Cornell will attempt to repeat last season's opener at the Virginia Fall Invitational, a 25-12 victory over the Mustangs. The Big Red won the tournament a season ago, knocking off Texas A&M and Virginia in addition to SMU. A win over SMU would mean a spot in the finals on Sunday against either Virginia or Kentucky.
The women have won 15 national titles in program history and has advanced to the national title game six of the last seven seasons with titles in 2011, 2015 and 2016. Head coach David Eldredge, entering his 33rd season directing the program, begins the season sporting a 502-143-17 (.772) record. Meanwhile, the men will be eyeing the program's 12 national title. Eldredge has a 455-182-8 (.712) record in his 33 years on the sidelines for the Big Red, including 30 straight appearances in the finals of the Northeast Regionals and 15 straight trips to nationals, as well as the 2005 USPA collegiate national title. All told, he has a 957-325-25 (.743) mark as a collegiate head coach.