Gauchos Ride Hot Streak into Triton Invitational

Gauchos Ride Hot Streak into Triton Invitational

The Schedule
Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 at 12:00 p.m.
No. 20 UC San Diego (1-4) vs. No. 7 UC Santa Barbara (9-1)
at Triton Pool

Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 at TBD (4:00 or 5:20 pm)
TBD (No. 6 UC Irvine or CSU East Bay) vs. No. 10 UC Santa Barbara (9-1)
at Triton Pool

Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019 at TBD (Start time between 9:20 am and 12:30 pm)
TBD vs. No. 10 UC Santa Barbara (9-1)

Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019 at TBD
TBD vs. No. 10 UC Santa Barbara (9-1)

All times in Pacific Standard Time (PST)
All games to be played at Canyon View Aquatic Center in La Jolla, Calif.

ASU Cross Conference Challenge Recap
No. 7 UC Santa Barbara went undefeated at the ASU Cross Conference Challenge last weekend, winning all five games including four against top-25 teams. UCSB opened the weekend with a 12-7 win over No. 25-T Azusa Pacific, as three Gauchos tied for team-high honors with two goals. On Saturday, Santa Barbara took down No. 23 California Baptist 12-6, defeating the Lancers for the second time this season, and closed the day with a close 8-7 win over No. 14 Princeton. UCSB would open Sunday with an upset win over then-No. 7 Arizona State, taking down the tournament hosts 11-10 for their second straight one-goal victory. The Gauchos then closed things out with a dominant 14-0 shutout against Iona.

Triton Invitational Preview
The Gauchos will look to build on their five-game winning streak as they get set to open up the UCSD Triton Invitational this Saturday against the host Tritons. The game is set for a 12:00 p.m. start at Triton Pool in the Canyon View Aquatic Center. The Gauchos own a 32-9 advantage in the all-time series over UCSD, which enters the weekend ranked No. 20 in the nation after getting out to a 1-4 start at the UCSB Winter Invite several weeks ago.

UCSB will play four games in all this weekend, with Saturday's second game set to be played at 4:00 or 5:20 p.m. against either Cal State East Bay (2-0) or No. 6 UC Irvine (3-1). The Gauchos will then play two more games on Sunday.

The weekend's full schedule along with all competing teams can be found here – Triton Invitational Tournament Page

Offensive Leaders
Junior Sarah Snyder and freshman Amanda Legaspi have led UCSB with extreme efficiency on the offensive end, combining for more than a third of the team's goals through 10 games. Snyder has already put away 24 goals on a team-best .632 shooting percentage, has tallied eight multi-goal efforts and 20 drawn exclusions, and is the only Gaucho to have earned Big West Player of the Week honors thus far. Legaspi meanwhile established her offensive proficiency by opening her career with a six-goal performance in the season-opening win over CBU. She comes in No. 2 on the team with 18 goals, converting at a 52.9 percent clip.

Defensive Leaders
Goalkeepers Becca Buck and Kenzi Snyder have split time defending the cage for the second straight season, and have put up similar numbers through 10 games. Buck has tallied 43 saves, four steals and 10 assists, while Snyder has 38 saves, two steals and six assists.

Sophomore attacker Mollie Simmons has been winning sprints all year for the Gauchos, but she has also been a force on defense, leading the Gauchos with 16 steals to this point. Senior Sarah Kreiser (13) and Amelia Meckelborg (11) come in second on the team. Kreiser also leads the team with nine field blocks, four more than any other Gaucho.

Hottest Start Ever?
UCSB has never gotten out to a better start than the one we've seen through two weekends of competition, posting a 9-1 mark to this point. The Gauchos' dominant opening weekend also saw them post a 4-0 mark out of the gates for the first time since 2013. Their only loss so far this year wasn't one to dwell on, as they hung tight against a UCLA side ranked No. 3 in the country, even erasing a second half deficit to tie the game late in the third quarter. There have been only four other times since 1996 that UCSB has started with a 4-0 record, but the program has never seen nine wins through the first 10 games.

Win Streak
The Gauchos head into the Triton Invitational riding a five-game win streak, something which doesn't come around all too often. In fact, it's only the third five-game win streak UCSB has been on since the start of the 2014 season. The last time they won more than five games in a row was in 2013, when they opened the year with a 6-0 record.

Ranked Opposition
Santa Barbara has shown it isn't afraid of a challenge this year, especially against other top-25 teams. The Gauchos are currently 7-1 against ranked opponents this year and 3-1 against opponents who entered the matchup with a higher ranking. So far, the Gauchos have earned "upset" wins against Indiana, Wagner, and Arizona State.

National Rankings
Fans of the Gauchos haven't been the only ones to take notice of UCSB's hot start – the nation has noticed as well. The strong play out of the gates saw Santa Barbara jump from what was a No. 17 preseason ranking in the CWPA national polls to No. 10 through just one week of play, the second-largest jump of any team in the country. Since then, UCSB has continued to rise, currently sitting at No. 7, it's highest since May of 2016.

No-Goal Zone
UCSB's 14-0 shutout win over Iona last Sunday was the Gauchos' first shutout of the season and their third in the last two years. Prior to 2018, UCSB hadn't recorded a shutout victory since Feb. 15, 2003 in a 10-0 win over George Washington.

Snyder Named First Big West Player of the Week
Following a standout opening weekend performance in which she scored at least two goals in all five appearances, junior utility Sarah Snyder was named the first Big West Player of the Week of the 2019 season in late January. The Gauchos' leading scorer from last year, Snyder picked up right where she left off, finishing with team-highs of 14 goals and nine drawn exclusions while leading the Gauchos to a 4-1 record at the UCSB Winter Invite. She put together back-to-back four-goal, one-assist efforts, helping UCSB to convincing wins over Indiana and Wagner, teams which held higher preseason rankings than the Gauchos. For the second straight year, a Gaucho kicked off the Big West PoW awards with a win following the Winter Invite, as Snyder followed in the footsteps of current teammate and senior captain Sarah Kreiser.

Trust The Process: Shannon Moran
We sat down before the start of the season with senior Shannon Moran to talk about her experiences with water polo, community service, and her role as a leader being one of the team's three co-captains in 2019. Read the feature story and watch the interview by clicking here.