Roger Williams University Defeats Cornell to Advance to USPA Intercollegiate Polo National Championship
It was a big weekend for Rhode Island collegiate polo enthusiasts. Not only did the University of Rhode Island (URI) Rams advance to the Basketball A10 Championships, but the Roger Williams University (RWU) Hawks defeated Cornell 15-14 last Sunday to win the United States Polo Association (USPA) Northeast Regional Men’s Intercollegiate Polo Tournament, hosted by Cornell, and will advance to the USPA Intercollegiate Polo National Championship tournament next month in Santa Barbara, CA.
In the regional tournament, number one seed RWU defeated Western Ontario 18-11 on Thursday in the opening round of the tournament, while Harvard defeated Yale. Then Cornell, number two seed, defeated Harvard to advance to the Final against RWU on Sunday. RWU led throughout the final match, despite a big push by Cornell in the fourth chukker spurred on by its home team audience and long legacy of national championships as an intercollegiate polo powerhouse, but fell short against the determined RWU team of George Hempt, Pedro Cabrera, and Daymar Rosser. Hemp and Rosser were also named Tournament All-Stars (they were the first two named, out of 4 total named, from the 15 players in the tournament).
With the victory, the RWU team advances for its first appearance in the USPA National Intercollegiate Championships on April 3-9 which will take place in Santa Barbara, CA, and compete against regional champions University of Virginia, Southern Methodist University,California Polytechnic State University, and possibly 1-2 wild card additions yet to be determined. The National Intercollegiate Championship tournament will be live streamed on USPA Polo Network.
Ted Torrey, Coach of the Roger Williams University polo team (and Newport Polo’s instructor), explains “It is no small feat to overpower the big-time varsity intercollegiate polo dynasties, who have university-owned horses and university polo facilities at their disposal.” And adds, “This is the young RWU team’s biggest victory to date, as sophomores, earning their first trip to Nationals!” Torrey has coached the Roger Williams University polo team since its inception years ago. The Men’s and Women’s teams practice at Newport Polo’s instructional facility during the academic year.