Gauchos Head North for Three Games

Feb. 28, 2007

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

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The schedule-
Saturday, March 3, 2007:
No. 12 UC Santa Barbara at No. 8 UC Davis
At Schaal Aquatics Center

Saturday, March 3, 2007:
No. 12 UC Santa Barbara at Pacific
At Chris Kjeldsen Pool

Sunday, March 4, 2007:
No. 12 UC Santa Barbara at No. 4 Cal
At Spieker Aquatics Center

The Open Road
The Gauchos are on the road again for the fourth weekend out of five this season. Santa Barbara will take on UC Davis and Pacific on Saturday, March 3 before traveling over to Berkeley to play the Bears on Sunday, March 4. UCSB is an even 5-5 on the road after competing in three early season tournaments.

Even Stevens -- Irvine Invitational, Day One
Santa Barbara opened the competitive UC Irvine's Invitational, in which all 16 teams were nationally ranked, with a game against then-ranked No. 4 Hawaii. Although the Rainbows held a 7-4 lead over the Gauchos at the end of the third period, UCSB scored three fourth-quarter goals to tie the score at seven with 3:14 remaining in the game. However, Hawaii scored two more goals in the final minutes to push them over the edge and earn the 9-7 victory. In the next game, it was Santa Barbara that established an early lead, this time over No. 14 UC San Diego with three second-quarter goals. Junior attacker Lindsay Knott, senior defender Aimee Stachowski and center Sarah Kovach each scored two goals in the 8-5 win over the Tritons.

Trouble at Sea -- Irvine Invitational, Day Two
With a 1-1 weekend record, the Gauchos opened up day two of the tournament against No. 8 San Diego State. The Aztecs scored early and often to give them an advantage which Santa Barbara was never able to overcome. With San Diego State up 6-5 in the fourth quarter, the Aztecs put distance between themselves and the Gauchos with two more goals to end the game with the 8-5 win. The last game of the tournament -- a battle for 11th place with No. 11 Arizona State -- proved to be the most exciting. Even though the Gauchos had scored four fourth-quarter goals, they were still behind 10-9 until freshman utility Christie Clarks tied the game just before the end of regulation. However, UCSB could not overcome the Sun Devils' two goals to its one in overtime and lost the game, 13-11.

Morgan Mows Down the Competition
Sophomore utility Gillian Morgan has been contributing offensively for the Gauchos especially well as of late. In the past five games, the Sacramento, Calif. native has scored one goal to bring her season total up to 10, which is good for fourth on the squad. After scoring 23 goals last season in her freshman campaign, which was tops amongst the freshman and players returning in 2007, Morgan is on pace to break her personal record of 23.

Tipping the Scales
Sophomore defender Amanda Tipton is making her mark on UCSB's 2007 season four weekends into the campaign. The Sunnyvale, Calif. native has been the Gauchos' top scorer in two of UCSB's 12 games and has already amassed nine goals on the year, good for fifth on the team. Tipton also has had four multi-goal games so far in the season, including one last weekend against No. 8 San Diego State, in which Tipton scored two goals in the Gauchos' 8-5 loss.

Top Knott-ch
Junior attacker Lindsay Knott has been making the scoring rounds this season in the pool. Not only is the San Jose, Calif. native second on the squad with 14 goals scored, but she has contributed at least one goal in the past seven games, four of which were multi-goal games.

On the Deck 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).

Probable UCSB Starters
No. 1 -- Jenny Gonzales (G): Played all four weekends in Irvine amassing 42 saves, has 79 on the season
No. 3 -- ZiZi Clark (U): Scored a team-high three goals in the 9-7 loss to then-ranked No. 4 Hawaii
No. 4 -- Lindsay Knott (ATT): Has scored in the last seven games, four of which were multi-goal games
No. 6 -- Aimee Stachowski (D): Contributed four goals in Irvine, Calif. last weekend
No. 14 -- Amanda Tipton (D): Scored four goals in the 8-5 loss to then-ranked No. 8 San Diego State
No. 15 -- Sarah Kovach (C): The senior is first on the team with 16 goals and has a team-high six multi-goal games
No. 22 -- Christie Clark (U): Forced overtime with a last-minute goal against the No. 11 Wildcats

Aggies, Tigers and Bears, oh my!
The Gauchos have a difficult weekend ahead of them in Northern California, taking on No. 8 UC Davis on Saturday and No. 4 Cal on Sunday. Santa Barbara will also squeeze in a game against unranked Pacific in Stockton, Calif. on Saturday afternoon.

Scouting Aggie Pride
No. 8 UC Davis also made the trek down to Irvine, Calif. last weekend to participate in the highly competitive tournament, finishing eighth in the field of 16. The Aggies (10-4 overall) fell to No. 3 USC and No. 6 San Jose State but successfully upended No. 7 Loyola Marymount as well as then-ranked No. 4 Hawaii, which defeated the Gauchos in the same tournament. Senior Katherine O'Rourke and junior Christi Raycraft led the Aggie scoring brigade with seven and six goals on the weekend, respectively. Between the posts, it's junior Laura Uribe who's keeping things under control, amassing 32 over the course of the weekend.

Taming the Tigers
UCSB will sandwich its two games against ranked opponents with a game against unranked Pacific on Saturday afternoon. The Tigers (3-7 overall) are coming off a win over UC Santa Cruz but also a loss to Cal State Northridge at the Sonoma State Tournament. Freshman Sarah Harris is a standout for the team and won the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Player of the Week award Feb., 6 after scoring four goals in each of UOP's first two games.

Pacifying the Bears
Berkeley (5-6 overall, 1-2 in the MPSF) is moving up in the rankings -- from No. 5 to No. 4 -- after a successful weekend in Irvine. The Bears beat No. 14 UC San Diego, and then-ranked No. 4 Hawaii in overtime before losing to No. 1 UCLA in the semifinals and No. 3 USC in the third-place match. The Gauchos will have to work hard to contain three-time All-American and USA National Team player Elsie Windes, who is second on the team with 16 goals, as well as leading scorer Grace Reynolds, who has scored 21 times this season. Goalkeeper Heather Stuart is averaging 8.02 saves per game and has played 95 percent of Cal's minutes in goal.