The UConn women’s polo team on April 5 captured its fourth consecutive national championship, beating Texas Christian University 19-13 in the finals, a victory that capped a perfect season for the squad.
The top-seeded Huskies reached the championship game by defeating Cornell in the Northeast Regional Tournament, 26-8, then routed Santa Barbara City College in the national semi-finals, 24-5.
In the finals, held at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky., Texas Christian’s horsewomen kept the game close for three chukkas (periods of play), before the UConn team pulled away to win in the fourth chukka.
Two of the Huskies – Kelly and Elizabeth Wisner – were named to the All Star team. In the Northeast Regional, the Wisners and senior Elizabeth Rockwell were three of the four players named to that tourney’s All Star team. Senior Lindsey Marrotte rounds out the team.
“They’re incredible athletes, these young ladies,” says Daniel Fletcher, head of the Department of Animal Sciences, which hosts the team. “Four in a row is pretty special.”
For Rockwell, who with Kelly Wisner rode on all four championship teams, the high point of this year’s tournament was beating Cornell in the regionals.
“They were number 2 in the country, and they had only missed going to the nationals once in 21 years, so it was great that we played so well as a team in that game,” Rockwell says.
Playing against the likes of Yale, Cornell, the universities of Virginia and Massachusetts, and Skidmore and Vassar colleges, the Huskies cruised through the season with an 18-0 record, and became only the second team to win at least four consecutive championships.
The Huskies have won seven national titles during the last 13 years.
“It was good to win,” says Coach James Dinger, an associate professor of animal sciences. Although three of the players will be graduating this year, he says he is not worried about next year.
“We have a lot of good players coming in,” he says.