UConn women win 1996 national intercollegiate polo championship (Released: 5/16/96)
by Renu Sehgal, Office of University Communications.
STORRS, Conn. -- The University of Connecticut women's polo team won the 1996 national intercollegiate championship.
UConn defeated Cornell University 18-15 to earn the national title April 13 at Brushy Creek Ranch in Burleson, Texas. During the season, UConn, a club team whose members pay their own expenses, defeated every collegiate team it faced -- except Cornell. Prior to the national tournament, the teams split four games during the 1995-96 season. UConn won the John Ben Snow Tournament and the Eastern League Championship, with Cornell finishing second. Cornell, which had won its home game against UConn, won the finals of the Eastern Regional Tournament in sudden death overtime. UConn had to enter the Final Four as a wild card team.
In that tournament, UConn defeated West Coast champion Cal Poly 25-2 and Central Division champions Colorado State University 21-9 to face Cornell in the final game.
In ceremonies after the final, UConn's Meg Dinger and Alicia Wells were elected to the All-East Women's Polo Team and the All- American Women's Polo Team. Kim Morgan was the high scorer for UConn during the tournament with 22 goals.
The championship is UConn's first in polo. The team had finished third in 1986 and were reserve champions in 1995. UConn finished the season 12-2 against intercollegiate teams and 15-5 overall.
The UConn men's polo team also made it to the Final Four as a wild card, defeating West Coast champions California-Santa Barbara 14-13. The team then lost to the No. 1 seed, Texas A&M, 20-12. Texas A&M went on to capture the title against Cornell. The UConn men's team finished the season 9-4 against intercollegiate teams and 12-4 overall.
UConn's polo program has been part of the equine program sponsored by the Animal Science Department in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources for 27 years.