Gauchos Head to Stanford for First NCAA Tournament Appearance in 17 Years

Nov. 11, 2008

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• The Schedule
Friday, November 14, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Stanford University Cardinal
at Stanford's Laird Q. Cagan Stadium

• UCSB Returns To NCAA Tournament For First Time Since 1991
By virtue of winning its first-ever Big West Tournament title, UC Santa Barbara advances to its first NCAA Tournament since 1991.  In the league tournament, the Gauchos recorded shootout wins over Cal Poly and Long Beach State.

• The Gauchos And Cardinal

UCSB and Stanford have played 12 times in a series that dates back to 1983.  The Gauchos hold a 6-4-2 edge on the Cardinal, but they have not met since 1994.   The teams have played once previously in the NCAA Tournament, in 1990, with Santa Barbara posting a 1-0 victory.   The winner of the UCSB-Stanford match-up will play the winner of a game between Kansas and Denver.  The Gauchos have never played Kansas and they are 0-0-1 all-time against Denver.  Tickets for the match went on sale on Tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m.  For information, call 1-800-Stanford, or by clicking here.

• The Gaucho Record
UCSB will officially enter the NCAA Tournament with an overall record of 12-6-3.  The Gauchos finished second in the Big West Conference with a 5-2-1 record.  Two of their three ties came in the Big West Tournament and both of those games were won in shootouts.

• Gaucho Tournament History
UCSB is returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1991.  This year's NCAA appearance will be the program's eighth.  The Gauchos also advanced to postseason in 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, and 1991.  In their previous seven appearances, they have recorded a 5-7 record.  Santa Barbara's NCAA Tournament wins have come against Stanford, Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Colorado College, and Cal State Hayward.  In their last appearance in the tournament, the Gauchos dropped a 4-0 decision at Hartford.

• Gotta Love Those Shootouts
UCSB won both of its Big West Tournament games via shootouts.  The Gauchos and Cal Poly tied at 1-1, but a 5-4 win in the shootout propelled Santa Barbara into the Big West title contest at Long Beach State.  That game finished tied 1-1 as well, but after eight penalty kicks, the last three of which were sudden-death, the Gauchos had a 6-5 advantage.  Until the game against Cal Poly, UCSB had not taken part in a shootout since 1985, when it needed a shootout to defeat Cal State Hayward in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

• Combination Of Veterans, Youth Lead Resurgence
A balance of veteran and young players helped UCSB's resurgence in 2008.  The 2007 Gauchos finished with an overall record of 6-10-4 and struggled to score.  This year, a roster that includes three seniors, two juniors, 12 sophomores, and 11 freshmen led UCSB to its most wins since 2004, and the second most ever under Paul Stumpf.

• Stumpf Still Needs One For 100
Paul Stumpf, completing his 10th season as UCSB's head coach, will enter the NCAA Tournament needing one victory to reach two significant marks.  Stumpf has 99 career coaching wins since taking over the Gaucho program in 1999.  One more win would give him 100 in his career.  Additionally, one more victory would pull the Sonoma, Calif., native into a tie for UCSB's all-time lead.  Tad Bobak, who completed his Gaucho coaching career in 1994, also had 100 wins.   

• On The Stumpf
Paul Stumpf is in his 10th season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. He enters this week's action with a record of 99-75-24. His total of 99 wins rank second on UCSB's all-time list, one behind Tad Bobak, who finished his coaching career with exactly 100.  This season marks the fifth time that Stumpf has guided the Gauchos to at least 10 wins.  Stumpf has led the program to records of .500 or better in seven of the last nine seasons, including, at one point, four straight seasons of 10 or more victories, the first time the program accomplished that feat since 1988-91.  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, and 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.    

• Ives Leads Balanced Attack
Junior forward Genelle Ives's return after a redshirt season was a successful one.  Ives sat out the 2007 season after having knee surgery, depriving UCSB of its top goal-scorer from the previous two years.  In 2008, the Dana Point, Calif., native showed little residual problems.  She enters the NCAA Tournament as the Gauchos' leading scorer with nine goals and seven assists for 25 points.  All three of the the totals were career-highs for Ives, who has played in all 21 matches this season, starting 19.  In her career, she has now scored 22 goals and 17 assists for 61 points.  Her 22 goals rank ninth on the school's career list, while her 61 points rank 11th. 

• Lending A Hand
The return of Genelle Ives was obviously a major boost to Gaucho fortunes in 2008, but the arrival of sophomore forward Kylie McDonald was a huge positive as well.  McDonald transferred to UCSB from Pepperdine, where she was an Honorable Mention All-West Coast Conference player in 2007.  After a somewhat slow start - she didn't score in the team's first two games - McDonald enters the NCAA Tournament with five goals and eight assists for 18 points, tied for third on the team.  Her eight assists ties her for the team-lead.  McDonald was particularly good late in the season, scoring two of her goals and six of her assists in the last 11 games, all against Big West opponents.

• Kugler Proves It Was No Fluke
As a freshman in 2007, forward Kailyn Kugler was forced to play a major role in UCSB's offense.  Injuries to several key players turned her into a starter and she responded by leading the team with six goals.  In 2008, Kugler has proven that her 2007 performance was no accident.  She enters postseason play with seven goals, second on the team, and four assists.  Her 18 points ties her with Kylie McDonald for third.

• A Cut Above
When starting goalkeeper Tammy Lenham was sidelined for the season with a shoulder injury, freshman Ali Cutler was thrown into the fire, and she has responded.  Cutler has played in 15 matches, starting 12, and allowed just 11 goals for a 0.77 goals against average.  The Saratoga, Calif., native has four complete shutouts and she has played at least a half in three others.  Cutler has a save percentage of 83.6%, and she has kept the Gauchos in games, never allowing more than two goals, and allowing one goal or less nine times.  In the Big West title game at Long Beach, she tied her career-high with eight saves.

• Simon Says She's A Midfielder
Sophomore Jacqui Simon played mostly forward in 2007 tallying two goals and one assist.  After moving back to her more familiar midfield position in 2008, she has responded by scoring six goals and eight assists for 20 points.   Her point total is second on the team and her assist total is tied for second.  Her most recent assist came in the Big West Tournament championship match against Long Beach State.  Simon is also the only UCSB player to have two multiple-goal games this season, scoring two each in wins at Pepperdine and UC Riverside.  

• Scoring Frenzy
The Gauchos have scored 40 goals in their 21 games this season, more than double what they scored in their 20 matches last season.   In 2007, UCSB could muster just 19 goals.  Four players have scored five or more goals, eight have two or more, and 13 have scored at least once.  In 2007, only eight players scored goals for the Gauchos.  In addition, after being shutout nine times in 2007, UCSB has been blanked just twice in 21 matches this season.

• Holding Things Together
Although they don't pile up huge offensive numbers, senior midfielder Sami Svrcek, a First Team All-Big West choice in 2007 and the MVP of this year's Big West Tournament, and junior midfielder Sarah Stoltz are the glue that holds the Gauchos together.  Svrcek has played in all 21 matches, starting 20, and has four assists. Stoltz has played in all 21 and started 16, scoring two goals.   Together, they have given UCSB consistency in moving the ball forward, a key aspect of the team's offensive resurgence this year.  
 
• On The Defensive
While UCSB has taken its offensive game to a higher level this season, the defense has remained stellar.  Despite the loss of their top goalkeeper, the Gauchos enter postseason play with a goals against average of 0.95, having allowed just 21 goals in 21 matches.  UCSB has allowed more than two goals in a match just once - on Sept. 7 Washington State scored three - and opponents have been held to one goal or fewer 14 times.  Santa Barbara has significantly outshot its opponents as well, 321 to 225 overall and 153 to 101 in terms of shots on goal.  Most recently, the Gauchos' defensive unit has included senior Rachael Ritchey, a two-time First Team All-Big West choice, sophomore Julia Speace, freshmen Danika Johnson and Alyssa Benjamin.  Another freshman, Alyssa Oldham, is the first defender off the bench, and in fact, she scored her first career goal in the Big West championship match at Long Beach State.