STORRS, CT — The University of Connecticut’s women’s polo team on April 5 captured their 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 crushing Cornell in the Northeast Regional Tournament, 26-8, then routing Santa Barbara City College in the national semi-finals, 24-5, at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.
In the finals, Texas Christian’s horsewomen kept the game close for three chukkers, before the experienced Huskies pulled away to win in the fourth chukker. Two Huskies – Kelley and Lizzie Wisner of Upperco, Md. – were named to the All Star team. In the Northeast Regional, the Wisners and senior Elizabeth Rockwell, of Oak Lawn, Md., comprised three of the four players named to that tourney’s All Star team. Senior Lindsay Marrotte of Windham rounds out the team.
“They’re incredible athletes, these young ladies,” says Daniel Fletcher, head of the Department of Animal Science, which hosts the team. “Four in a row is pretty special.”
Rockwell, who, with Kelly Wisner, rode on all four championship teams, agreed, but thought the high point of this year’s tourney 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 pretty special that we played so well as a team in that game,” Rockwell said.
Playing against the likes of Yale, Cornell, the universities of Virginia and Massachusetts, and Skidmore and Vassar colleges, the senior-dominated and top-ranked Huskies cruised through the season with an 18-0 record, and they 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 science, who says he has no concerns about losing three seniors. “We have a lot of good players coming in,” he says.