October 24, 2006

Four Gauchos Set to Play Final Home Match

Oct. 24, 2006

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Schedule
Match No. 18
Thursday, October 26, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. St. Mary's College Gaels
at UCSB's Harder Stadium

Match No. 19
Sunday, October 29, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Cal Poly Mustangs
at Cal Poly's Soccer Complex

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters its matches this weekend with an overall record of 6-6-5 and a Big West record of 4-1-1. The Gauchos have 13 points in the Big West standing, tying them with Long Beach State for first place. The 49ers, however, have played one fewer match than UCSB. At 6-6-5, the Gauchos have climbed back to the .500 mark on the season for the first time since they were 2-2-2.

Seniors Say Goodbye
Thursday night's match against St. Mary's will be the final home appearance for four UCSB seniors. Forwards Chandi Bickford and Allie Kueny and mifielders Kristyn Bright and Darci Gwartz will all be making their final Harder Stadium appearances. Bright, who is suffering with a foot injury, is not likely to play.

Big West Tournament Field Is Set, Gauchos Are In
The four-team Big West Tournament field is set and it includes UCSB. The Gauchos will be joined by Long Beach State, Cal Poly and Cal State Fullerton in the event that will be held on Nov. 3 and Nov. 5. The only thing left to decide are the seedings for the tourney. As the week begins, UCSB is tied for first-place with Long Beach State with 13 points apiece. The Gauchos have played one more game than the 49ers. UCSB is one point ahead of Cal Poly and the only game remaining for the Mustangs is next Sunday's against the Gauchos. UCSB is three-points ahead of Cal State Fullerton, but the Gauchos have played one more contest than the Titans. Fullerton and Long Beach will meet on Wednesday night. If the 49ers defeat the Titans then they would clinch first-place and UCSB would be guaranteed of at least a third-seed in the tournament.

Unbeaten String Is Longest In A While
UCSB's five-match unbeaten string (4-0-1) is the team's longest since the 2004 Gauchos went seven straight (5-0-2) without a loss. Last season, UCSB won four straight early in the year, its longest stretch.

Scoreless In Santa Barbara
The Gauchos defense has continued to get more and more stifling as the year evolves. UCSB enters its final two matches having allowed just 14 goals in 17 contests and none in its last three games. The Gauchos, in fact, not only allowed no goals in 200 minutes last weekend, they allowed just four shots on goal. Goalkeeper Katie Wright needed just four saves in the two outings. UCSB's defensive effort has been led by sophomores Rachael Ritchey, Katie Smith and Linda Allen and juniors Kandice Mclaughlin and Katrina Wright. The Gauchos have not allowed more than two goals in any match this seasoon and they have allowed one or fewer in 14 of 17, including six shutouts.

The Bickford Files
Senior forward Chandi Bickford continues to lead the UCSB attack. Limited to seven matches and one assist in 2005, Bickford has made up for lost time in 2006. The Maui native leads the team in goals with seven, assists with six and points with 20. During the current five-match unbeaten string, Bickford has scored three goals and assisted on four others for a total of 10 points. Entering the year, Bickford had scored a total of three career goals, all during the 2004 season when she had three goals and a team-leading 10 assists. In her four seasons, she has now tallied 10 goals and 19 assists for 39 points, 14th on UCSB's all-time list.

Kueny Provides The Spark
Senior forward Allie Kueny missed the first six matches of the 2006 season with a knee injury. When she returned, she did so as a reserve. She has started the last nine matches, but has really only rounded into her regular form in the last five. It is no accident that UCSB's five-match unbeaten streak coincides with Kueny's return to form. When she scored a pair of goals in UCSB's 2-0 win over Cal State Northridge, Kueny had scored five in a four-match span and she had scored at least one in four straight. The five goals ties her career-high set in 2004 and she now has 17 goals and 17 assists in her career. She has become the 11th Gaucho ever to hit the 50-point mark. She has 51 points.