10th-Ranked UCSB Begins 2006 Season With Three Matches this Weekend

Jan. 31, 2006

This Week:
Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006 at 8:00 a.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Cal State San Bernardino Coyotes

Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Cal Baptist Lancers

Sunday, Feb. 5, 2006 at Noon
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UCLA Bruins
At UCSB's Campus Pool

UCSB Opens 2006 Season Ranked 10th Nationally
UC Santa Barbara, which finished the 2005 season ranked 11th in the nation, begins the 2006 season ranked tenth nationally. The Gauchos completed last season with an overall record of 17-12 overall and a 5-7 mark in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. UCSB lost to San Diego State in the first round of the MPSF Tournament but closed the season with tourney wins over San Jose State and Arizona State.

Gauchos Open 2006 With Tough Task
UCSB will open its 2006 season on Saturday with a pair of matches against non-Division I opponents Cal State San Bernardino and Cal Baptist. On Sunday, the Gauchos play their first home match and they do so against UCLA, the top-ranked team in the nation and defending NCAA champion.

Altman Enters Fourth Season
Danielle Altman is entering her fourth season at the helm of the Gauchos. Last year Altman's team posted its best mark during her tenure, a 17-12 overall record and a 5-7 mark in the MPSP. In her three seasons at UCSB, the Gauchos have gone 49-44. Prior to arriving in Santa Barbara for the 2004 season, Altman spent four seasons at Cal State San Bernardino where she posted a 64-58 record. In her seven seasons of coaching, including her stints at CSUSB and UCSB, she has posted a 113-102 record.

UCSB Return Three Of Top Four Scorers
The Gauchos will return three of their top four scorers from a 2005 team that tallied 216 goals. Alaina Whitaker, a senior attacker, scored a team-high 37 goals as a junior. She enters the year with 70 career goals. Senior utility Jen D'Anna was second on the team last season with 33 goals. She found the back of the cage 42 times as a sophomore and has 93 goals entering the season. Junior defender Aimee Stachowski, a member of the U.S. National Team during the summer of 2005, had 23 goals last season and has 45 in her two years. She was an All-MPSF selection in each of her first two years.

They Are Not Alone
In addition to returning three of their top four scorers, the Gauchos also return several other key players. Sophomore center Lindsay Llewellyn (16 goals in 2005), junior utility ZiZi Clark (14 goals in 2005) and junior center Sarah Kovach (10 goals in 2005) also return to the fold.

On The Other End Of The Pool
UCSB has four players competing for the starting goalkeeper position. Junior Rosie Redaelli logged the most playing time of the two returnees. She played in six matches in 2005 while posting a goals against average of 5.83 and 33 saves. Another junior, Alexa Benson, played in just one match in 2005 but is back for another season. Sophomore Jenny Gonzales played her freshman season at the University of Indiana where she played in 10 matches, posting 28 saves and a goals against average of 4.18. The fourth possibility in goal is Brittany May, a freshman from Santa Barbara High School. As a prep goalkeeper, May helped lead the powerful Dons to a pair of CIF Championships.