February 19, 2009

UCSB Joins the Nation's Elite at 2009 UC Irvine Invitational

Feb. 19, 2009

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• The Schedule
Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009

UC Irvine Invitational
No. 19 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 1 USC, 9 a.m.
at UC Irvine's Anteater Pool

Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009
No. 20 UC Santa Barbara vs. TBD
at UC Irvine's Anteater Pool or Corona Del Mar High School

• This Week In Water Polo
After a week off from competition, the No. 19 UC Santa Barbara women's water polo team returns to action this weekend when they head to the 2009 UC Irvine Invitational. The Gauchos are scheduled to face top-ranked USC in the tournament's first round on Saturday at 9 a.m. at UCI's Anteater Pool.

• For The Record
UCSB will carry a 4-3 overall record into this weekend's tournament. The Gauchos are currently ranked 19th in the Collegiate Water Polo Association Top-20 Coaches' Poll released on Wednesday. UCSB moved up one spot from the No. 20 ranking, which it held for the past two weeks. Santa Barbara has yet to defeat a team that is ranked this season.

• Last Time
UCSB finished in 13th place two weeks ago at the UC San Diego Triton Invite. The Gauchos split four games during the two day tourney, dropping contests to then-ranked No. 12 Cal State Northridge, 10-7, and No. 15 Cal State Bakersfield, 12-11 on Saturday before picking up two wins on Sunday over Maryland, 14-9, and Cal Baptist, 18-10.

• Morgan Leads The Way
Senior Gillian Morgan had a phenomenal weekend at the Triton Invite. The utility player opened the tourney with a hat trick against No. 12 Northridge and then tied her career-high of five goals in the narrow loss to Bakersfield. The following day, she set a new career-high with six goals against both Maryland and Cal Baptist to bring her weekend total to 20. Six goals in one contest ties as the second most in a single game by a Gaucho.

• Record Watch
Gillian Morgan currently leads the Gauchos with her 24 goals this season. She entered the season ranked third all-time on the UCSB career scoring list with 122 career goals and is now just six goals shy of tying Jennifer D'Anna (2003-06) for second place with 152. The school record was set by Kelley Tiffany (1999-2002) at 213 goals. If Morgan is able to keep up her blistering pace of 3.4 goals per game, she could surpass that school record.

• We Are Going Streaking!
While Morgan holds the longest active scoring streak of the season with six consecutive games with a goal, freshman Alyssa Rangel is also amidst a streak with four straight games with a goal. Sophomore Claire Buchanan has scored in all but one game and is third on the team with eight goals behind junior Lizzie Rouleau, who is second with 11.

• Goalie Gab
Sophomore goalkeepers Chelsea Carrillo and Kate Murphy have each played 3.5 games in the goal this season. Murphy leads the team with 8.3 saves per game while Carrillo is averaging 5.7. Murphy tied her career-high of nine blocks in the win over Maryland on Feb. 8.

• Trojan Talk
No. 1 USC enters this weekend with a perfect 7-0 record. Michelle Stein leads the team with 23 goals this season and Ilse van der Meijden averages 11.14 saves per game in the cage. The Gauchos and Trojans last met on Mar. 28, 2008. USC came out of the pairing with a 17-6 victory. Depending on the outcome of the tournament opener, the Gauchos will play either UC Davis or Arizona State later in the day.

• Coming Attractions
Following this weekend's tournament, the Gauchos will take a week off from action before finally opening at home against Cal State Monterey Bay on Thursday, March 5. The game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start at Campus Pool and admission is free.

• BE Great: UCSB Celebrates Black History Month
As part of the BE Great initiative, UCSB Athletics is proud to promote the celebration of Black History Month. For reflections by Gaucho student-athletes on this month's celebration and for more information, click here.