Big West Regular Season co-Champion UCSB Enters League Tournament as No. 2 Seed Against No. 3 Cal State Fullerton
Nov. 1, 2006
Match No. 20
Big West Tournament
Friday, November 3, 2006 at 11:00 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal State Fullerton Titans
At Long Beach State's George Allen Field
Match No. 21
Sunday, November 5, 2006 at 1:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. TBA
At Long Beach State's George Allen Field
The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters the postseason with an overall record of 7-6-6. The Gauchos finished the Big West season with a league record of 5-1-1, tying Long Beach State for first-place in the league standings. By virtue of their win over the Gauchos, the 49ers are the No. 1 seed in the tournament and UCSB is the No. 2 seed. Santa Barbara enters the league tourney with a seven-match unbeaten string. The Gauchos have gone 5-0-2 in their last seven outings. The unbeaten string equals the seven-match streak that UCSB achieved during the 2004 campaign.
Second-Seeded Gauchos Play Titans In First Round
UCSB, the No. 2 seed in the Big West Tournament, will playa the No. 3 seed Cal State Fullerton in an 11:00 a.m. match on Friday. The winner of the Gaucho-Titan showdown will play the winner of the contest between top-seeded Long Beach State and the No. 4 seed Cal Poly. On Oct. 13, UCSB won at Cal State Fullerton, 4-1. As for their results against the rest of the tournament field, the Gauchos concluded the regular season on Oct. 29 with a 2-1 win at Cal Poly, and they opened league play on Oct. 6 with a 1-0 loss to Long Beach State.
UCSB In The Big West Tournament
The Gauchos are making their third trip to the Big West Tournament, having qualified back-to-back in 2003 and 2004. Both times resulted in UCSB reaching the championship match and losing to Central Coast rival Cal Poly by 2-0 scores. In two previous semifinal contests, the Gauchos scored a combined seven goals, beating UC Riverside 3-2 in 2003 and Cal State Northridge 4-2 in 2004.
On The Stumpf
Paul Stumpf is in his eighth season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. He enters this week's action with a record of 81-58-17. His total of 80 wins ranks second on UCSB's all-time list. Prior to last season, he had led the Gauchos to four consecutive seasons of double-figures in wins, the first time the program had accomplished the feat since 1988-91. Last season, he guided a young and injury-riddled UCSB team to a 9-10-0 record. Prior to the 2005 campaign, Stumpf had coached the Gauchos to five straight seasons of .500 or better, a feat that had last been accomplished more than a decade ago. In 1999, Stumpf's first season as the head coach at UCSB, he took a team that was selected to finish last in the conference, but instead posted an 8-9-1 overall record and a 5-4 mark in the Big West. Following the season, he was chosen as the Big West's Coach of the Year. Before arriving in Santa Barbara as an assistant coach in 1998, Stumpf spent two seasons as an assistant at Humboldt State. In addition, the San Diego native spent several years coaching club teams in the Santa Rosa area.
A Tale Of Two Seasons
On Oct. 6, UCSB lost its Big West Conference opener to Long Beach State, 1-0. The defeat dropped the Gauchos' record to 0-1 in league and 2-6-4 overall. Through those first 12 matches, the team had scored just 10 goals. Since that loss to the 49ers, the Gauchos have gone 5-0-2. The seven match unbeaten string is the longest since the 2004 team also went seven in a row, and the 5-1-1 record in the Big West tied the Gauchos with the 49ers for the regular season title. In the last seven contests, UCSB has outscored its opponents by a 16-4 count. In its seven league matches, the Gauchos outscored the opposition 15-3 and outshot their opponents 94-56. In addition, in the seven league matches, UCSB's combined goals against average was a meager 0.42 and its save percentage was .914.
Defense: The One Constant
While UCSB has had its ups-and-downs offensively this season, its defense has been outstanding from the word-go. The Gauchos have allowed just 16 goals in their 19 matches. With six overtime matches factored in, Santa Barbara has recorded a goals against average of 0.78 on the year. In seven Big West contests, UCSB allowed just three goals and had a goals against average of 0.42. Led by Rachael Ritchey, Kandice Mclaughlin, Katie Smith, Linda Allen, Katrina Wright and Lexi Eaton, as well as goalkeepers Katie Wright and Tammy Lenham, the Gauchos have produced six shutouts in 2006 and they have allowed one or fewer goals in 16 of 19 matches, including all seven in league play and their last 10 in a row overall.
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 is tied for the team-lead in goals with seven and she paces the team in assists with seven and points with 21. Bickford is tied for third in the league in goals and second in points. During the current seven-match unbeaten string, Bickford has scored three goals and assisted on five others for a total of 11 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 20 assists for 40 points, 14th on UCSB's all-time list.
Kueny's Healthy Return Was 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 11 matches, but has really only rounded into her regular form in the last seven. It is no accident that UCSB's seven-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. In Sunday's regular season finale at Cal Poly, she recorded her first assist of the season on a goal by Genelle Ives. The five goals ties her career-high set in 2004 and she now has 17 goals and 18 assists in her career. Kueny has become the 11th Gaucho ever to hit the 50-point mark and she enters the postseason with 52.
Ives Avoids Sophomore Slump
Forward Genelle Ives, the 2005 Big West co-Freshman of the Year, did not suffer a sophomore slump. Ives, who had six goals and six assists in her first season at UCSB, finished the 2006 regular season with seven goals and four assists for 18 points. Her seven goals ties her for third in the league and gives her 13 in her career, the 13th highest total in school history. In Big West games, she had four goals and one assist for nine points. Her four goals against league opponents was the second most by a Gaucho this year. Ives has had a goal in two consecutive matches as she enters the conference tournament.
The Wright Stuff
Junior goalkeeper Katie Wright has gotten stronger and stronger as the season has progressed. She has been the starter in 15 of the team's 19 matches and she has recorded six shutouts and a goals against average of 0.79. Wright's numbers have been even better in Big West contests. She was the starter in all seven Gaucho league matches, posting a 5-1-1 record with four shutouts and a goals against average of 0.42. Wright has 31 saves in league play and a save percentage of .912. Freshman goalkeeper Tammy Lenham, who has made the other five starts for UCSB, has been solid too. She has a 1-1-3 record, a goals against average of 0.77 and a save percentage of .846.