The Harvard Polo Club, despite a determined effort, lost to league-leading University of Connecticut, 20-14, Saturday night in a bruising match at the Flying Horse Stables in Hamilton, Mass.
The Crimson, looking for their first victory of the four-game old season, jumped to an 8-3 first quarter lead in a fine display of teamwork. Jay Romfh, varsity horseman, said yesterday, "We played better in that quarter than we have all year."
Romfh said that while the three U Conn varsity players had been a team for two years, the members of the Harvard squad have only played together since September.
Romfh attributed some of the early success to the quality of the Crimson's ponies in the first quarter. Since Harvard was the home team, it supplied ponies to both clubs.
In the second quarter, when the ponies were switched, the rough riding U Conn team began to dominate play, and at the half had taken a 11-9 lead.
Collegiate polo is played indoors in an arena similar to a hockey rink, with the two goals 8 ft. by 10 ft. targets painted on the walls at either end.
In the Flying Horse Arena, which is about the size of the Freshman Union dining hall, jarring collisions between players are common. Saturday's match was particularly rough, with brutal checking throughout the evening.
The third period was a disaster for the Crimson as the U Conn horsemen unleashed a display of accurate shooting and outstanding team play and stretched their lead to 18-10.
In the final period, the Crimson began a rally--called a chukker action by polo fans--but were still down by 6 when the game ended.
Scoring for the evening was evenly distributed among the three Crimson horsemen. Howie Corcoran, playing at the number 1 spot (offense), scored 5 goals, Joe O'Connor at number 2 (center) scored 5 and Jay Romfh at number 3 (defense) scored 4.
The next intercollegiate action for the Crimson will be the national intercollegiate tournament on March 11 in Darien, Conn., at the Ox Ridge Hunt Club. Yale is the defending national champion.