February 10, 2011

Gauchos Hit the Road for Triton Invitational

Feb. 10, 2011

• The Schedule
Saturday, February 12, 2011
UC Santa Barbara (6-3) vs. Long Beach State (0-3), 12 pm
UC Santa Barbara vs. Michigan (8-2) or Marist (0-0), 4 or 5:20 pm

Sunday, February 13, 2011
UCSB vs. TBD

• The Weekend Ahead
After taking a week off from competition, the UCSB women's water polo team will hit the road for the UC San Diego Triton Invitational, which will be held at UCSD's Canyonview and Triton Pools. The Gauchos will face Big West foe Long Beach State in the tournament's opening round.

• Last Time Out
UCSB had a busy home-opening weekend at the end of January as they hosted six games across three days. The Gauchos came out of the weekend with a 3-3 home mark. They posted wins over Concordia, Cal State Bakersfield and UC San Diego and fell to Michigan, San Diego State and UC Irvine.

• For The Record
The Gauchos enter this weekend with a 6-3 overall mark and an unblemished 3-0 road record. UCSB is currently ranked No. 12 nationally in the Collegiate Water Polo Association Poll. The Gauchos are the second highest-ranked Big West team behind No. 11 UC Irvine.

• The Tournament Field
The Triton Invitational features 16 teams, 13 of which are ranked or receiving votes in the CWPA Poll. In addition to Long Beach State, the Gauchos also share a bracket with No. 7 Michigan and Marist and will play one of those two teams in the tournament's second round. UCSB took sixth at last season's Triton Invite, falling 8-3 in the fifth-place game to Cal State Northridge.

• She's Going Streaking
Senior Kathryn Nelson has been on a tear this season, scoring in every contest. Her current scoring streak is 10 games, dating back to the 2010 season finale against Pacific. Across those 10 contests, she has posted multiple goals on six occasions. Nelson currently leads the Gauchos with 17 goals on the year and has a team-high 18 steals.

• Goal Oriented
In addition to Nelson, seniors Christie Clark and Kristin Kulakowski each have tallied double-digit goals this season. Clark is second on the team with 13 goals and has had multiple goals in four contests. Kulakowski opened the season with a four-game scoring streak and is third with 10 goals. Sophomore Shelby Haroldson has also recently found her offensive stride, scoring in the last four contests.

• Last Line of Defense
Sophomore goalkeeper Ruth Milne has started all nine contests in goal for the Gauchos this season and has totaled 27 quarters in the cage. Milne is currently averaging 11.7 saves per game and 8.0 goals against. She has had double-digit saves on four occasions and posted 15 in the sudden victory loss to Michigan (Jan. 28), which was just two shy of her career high.

• Record Watch
Christie Clark's 13 goals this season have brought her career count to 129, which move her from seventh on the UCSB career scoring list to No. 4. She needs 23 more goals to match No. 3 Jennifer D'Anna's career output. Claire Buchanan has moved from 20th to a tie for 18th with her 67 career goals, while Kathryn Nelson needs just one more goal to crack into the top-20. She currently has 66.

• What's Next
After this weekend's tournament, the Gauchos will take another weekend off from competition before heading to the UC Irvine Invitational, which will be hosted Feb. 26-27 by the Anteaters.