No. 12 Santa Barbara Travels to Competitive Irvine Invitational

No. 12 Santa Barbara Travels to Competitive Irvine Invitational

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Feb. 22, 2007

Santa Barbara, Calif. - The Schedule-
Saturday, February 24, 2007
No. 12 UC Santa Barbara at No. 4 Hawaii, 12:45 p.m.
At Anteater Aquatics Complex

Saturday, February 24, 2007
No. 12 UC Santa Barbara vs. TBA
At Anteater Aquatics Complex

Sunday, February 25, 2007
No. 12 UC Santa Barbara vs. TBA
At Anteaters Aquatics Complex

On the Road Again
After playing their first home games of the season last weekend, the Gauchos head to the open road this weekend, traveling south for the Irvine Invitational. The field of 16 teams will play 32 games over the course of two days at the Anteater Aquatics Complex and the Corona del Mar High School pool. All of the 16 teams involved in the invitational are currently nationally ranked in the top 25, including all of the top 12 teams in the nation, which will make for some competitive games for all involved. It is also a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation heavy tournament with 11 of the conference's 13 teams participating in the invitational.

Troubled Waters at Home
The Gauchos opened their home season last Saturday against No. 9 Irvine and it was the battle of the defenses with the Anteaters emerging the victors, 6-3. Although the teams' defenses held off all scoring attempts until the teams were well into the first period, the Anteaters took a 2-0 advantage into the second half. The Gauchos came within striking distance with a goals from junior attackers Lindsay Knott and sophomore Alisha Khan to bring the score to 3-2 in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for Santa Barbara, Irvine scored three fourth-quarter goals to run away with the game, 6-3.

Home Sweet Home
UCSB ended its weekend on a high note, defeating Cal State San Bernardino, 16-10. The Gauchos took an early 6-2 lead in the first quarter that was crucial in the victory for the Coyotes could not overcome Santa Barbara's lead. San Bernardino was only able to score five goals in the first three quarters to UCSB's 13 and despite five Coyote fourth-quarter scores, Santa Barbara handily won the game. Four Gauchos had multi-goal games with freshman utility Christie Clark leading the way with four.

Senior Scoring Brigade
The seniors showed their years of experience at home against Irvine and CSU San Bernardino, scoring a collective seven of UCSB's 19 goals on the weekend. Center Sarah Kovach and defender Aimee Stachowski led the Class of 2007 with two goals each. Kovach leads the Gauchos of all years with 12 goals on the young season, which is also good for 24th in the competitive MPSF. Utility ZiZi Clark and attackers Allie Carkin and Teale Walheim scored one goal apiece.

Between the Posts
Although the Gaucho goalies gave up 16 goals on the weekend, UCSB keepers still exhibited skills between the posts. Junior Jenny Gonzales started both games for Santa Barbara and did an excellent job in the defensive showdown against Irvine on Saturday morning. The Fresno, Calif. native and Indiana University transfer notched nine goals on the weekend, many of which coming against the tough Irvine offense. Senior Rosey Redaelli took over in goal during the San Bernardino game and helped the team to victory with several key saves.

Poolside with Coach Altman
Head Coach Danielle Altman enters her fifth season at the helm of the UC Santa Barbara women's water polo team in 2007. Under her tutelage, the 2006 Gauchos finished the season with an overall record of 18-17 and were ranked 14th in the Collegiate Water Polo Association National Coaches Poll after placing 10th in the ultra-competitive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The 2006 season was the second consecutive winning season for Altman at UCSB marking the first pair of back-to-back winning seasons for the Gauchos in recent program history (1996 or later).

Scouting the Rainbow Warriors
No. 4 Hawaii will be a formidable opponent for the Gauchos this weekend at Irvine. The Rainbows knocked off three ranked opponents last weekend -- No. 6 San Diego State, 10-9 in overtime, No. 12 Long Beach State, 11-9 and No. 10 Arizona State, 12-8. Last week's MPSF Player of the Week utility Kelly Mason lead Hawaii with 12 goals on the weekend. Mason leads all scorers in the country with 27 goals in the first two weeks of competition. Goalie Meiki De Nooy was also instrumental in the victories, amassing 33 saves in the three games for the Rainbows, including a season-high 12 saves against the Aztecs. The senior keeper is also tops in the nation with 92 saves in nine games, averaging 10.2 saves per match.

Probable UCSB Starters
No. 1 -- Jenny Gonzales (G): Has started seven games; amassed 45 saves on the season
No. 3 -- ZiZi Clark (U): Was one of three players to scored in the 6-3 loss to Irvine
No. 4 -- Lindsay Knott (ATT): Had her second multi-goal game against CSUSB with two goals
No. 6 -- Aimee Stachowski (D): Second on the team with eight goals on the season
No. 14 -- Amanda Tipton (D): Scored two goals last weekend to bring her season count seven
No. 15 -- Sarah Kovach (C): Scored two goals against the Coyotes in her fourth multi-goal game of the year
No. 22 -- Christie Clark (U): Led all scorers with four goals against San Bernardino