February 26, 2010

No. 14 UCSB Travels South to UCI Inivitational This Weekend

Feb. 26, 2010

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• The Schedule
Saturday, February 27, 2010
No. 14 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (6-5, 0-0) vs. No. 3 UCLA (9-3), 11:30 a.m.
No. 14 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. No. 5 Michigan (9-3) or No. 13 SDSU (9-3), TBD

Sunday, February 28, 2010
No. 14 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. TBD, All Day

• The Week Ahead
After going 2-2 in La Jolla, at the UCSD Triton Invitational, and then enjoying three weeks of rest, the Gauchos dive back into tournament play this weekend in Irvine, Calif.. UCSB will open up the UC Irvine Invitational against No. 3 UCLA on Saturday, at 11:30 am. Should they win, the Gauchos will pay the victor of the 12:45 pm game between No. 5 Michigan and No. 13 San Diego State. In the event of a loss, the Gauchos will square off against the loser of that same match. On Sunday, UCSB will participate in two more games. The opponents and times of these matches will be determined by day 1 tournament play.

• For The Record.
After playing 11 games in the first two weeks of the season, including eight against nationally ranked opponents, the Gauchos currently hold a record of 6-5. UCSB also ranks 14th in the Collegiate Water Polo Association Top-20 Poll.

• Beating the Bruins
Saturday the Gauchos will take on No. 3 UCLA. The Bruins are 9-3, and are coming off of four straight wins. including victories over No. 4 California (10-2) , and No. 9 Cal State Northridge (9-2). The Gauchos have had trouble with the Bruins historically, falling short in the teams' last 5 meetings, dating back to Feb. 22, 2004. This weekend UCSB looks to start a new trend, with a win over the Bruins to open the UC Irvine Invitational.

• Aztecs or Wolverines?
If the Gauchos surpass UCLA, they will move on to play an evening game against the winner of the match between Michigan and San Diego State. If they are defeated, they will face the loser of that game. Michigan currently carries a record of 9-3 and sits at number 5 in the national rankings. The Gauchos have defeated the Wolverines in their last two meetings, the most recent of which being a 7-4 victory, just one year ago, at the UC Irvine Invitational. SDSU enters this weekend also with a record of 9-3, and is coming off of a 6-5 victory over Long Beach State. In the past three years the UCSB has lost all 7 games played againstthe Aztecs, but will seek to turn the tides in the event of a Saturday evening match-up.

• Gaucho Goals
Junior Christie Clark is leading the Gauchos in scoring, with 12 goals this season, including a pair of two-goal games against CSU Bakersfield (Jan. 23) and No. 11 UC Irvine (Feb. 6). Katie Kepner and Claire Buchananan are tied for second, having each posted 10 goals this season. Kepner recorded three goals against No. 4 California (Jan. 29), and also has 11 assists on the season. Senior Lizzie Rouleau has tallied eight goals of her own to this date, including a hat-trick in a victory over No. 18 Indiana (Feb. 6).

• Featured Freshman
Shelby Haroldson ranks fourth on the team in scoring, with a total of 9 goals put away this season., including two dual-goal performances, coming in wins over Santa Clara (Jan. 28) and No.15 UC Davis (Feb. 7). Two other freshman, Elle Quane and Kacey Creek have scored 5 goals a piece.

• We're Going Streaking
Christie Clark's momentous nine game scoring streak came to an end at the UCSD Triton Invitational. Clark scored in the Gauchos' first 9 games this season, picking up a 12 total goals, while also leading the team in shots taken, with a total of 36. Shelby Haroldson has started a streak of her own, scoring a total of four goals in the last three games

• Goalie Gossip
Ruth Milne has recorded a total of 98 saves this season and is averaging 10.6 saves per game. The freshman has started 10 of the Gauchos 11 games and is averaging 7.7 goals against per game.

• Home Sweet Home
After returning from Irvine, Calif., the Gauchos will get to host their first home games in nearly six weeks. UCSB will play Fresno Pacific at Campus Pool on Thursday, Mar. 4, at 6:00 pm, before facing Loyola Marymount that Sunday, at 12pm. UCSB will remain at home for the following month, and will host Big West games against Long Beach State, UC Irvine and Cal State Northridge in early April.