March 31, 2010
Friday, April 7, 2010 at Campus Pool
No. 12 UC Santa Barbara (13-8) vs. Long Beach State (8-14), 12:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 3, 2010 at Campus Pool
No. 12 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 13 UC Irvine (9-11), 12:00 p.m.
The Week Ahead
After seizing two home victories over Big West opponents in the UCSB Invite, the Gauchos will officially begin Big West Conference play by hosting two games at Campus Pool. On Friday, UCSB will play Long Beach State. Then on Saturday, UCSB will play No. 13 UC Irvine in a rematch of last weekend's contest. Both games will begin at 12:00 p.m. This weekend's results will count toward the Gauchos' Big West record.
For The Record
UCSB currently carries a record of 13-8. UCSB has performed brilliantly at home this season, posting a 7-1 record when playing at Campus Pool. The Gauchos rank as No. 12 in the Collegiate Water Polo Association Top-20 Poll, maintaining their ranking from last week.
Knocking-Off the Niners
The Gauchos will kick-off the Big West season by hosting Long Beach State, on Friday at noon. Long Beach State is 8-14 on the year and is fresh off of a loss to second-ranked Stanford. The 49ers have a record of 3-10 in games against opponents currently ranked in the Collegiate Water Polo Association Top-20 Poll. The Gauchos faced Long Beach three times last season and emerged victorious on all three occasions. Their most recent win over the 49ers came on April 18, 2009, when the Gauchos registered an 8-5 overtime victory.
Aiming at the Anteaters
On Saturday, UCSB will face No. 13 UC Irvine at 12:00 p.m. UC Irvine holds a record of 9-11 and most recently defeated No. 16 Pacific at the UCSB Invite last Sunday. The Gauchos are 2-1 against the Anteaters this season, winning their most recent contest by a score of 7-5 just last weekend.
After notching two goals against Pacific last weekend, senior Lizzie Rouleau continues to lead the Gauchos in scoring this season. Rouleau has netted a total of 24 goals this season, including six games with multiple scores. The senior has come on strong as UCSB heads into Big West play, posting an impressive 10 goals in the Gauchos' last four games. Christie Clark is second on the team for scoring with 22 goals, including four two-goal games. The junior tallied her 100th career goal in the victory over UC Irvine on Saturday. Shelby Haroldson and Claire Buchanan are now tied for third on the team for goals, having each picked up 17. Both have registered four dual-goal performances, and Haroldson also picked up a hat-trick against CSU San Bernardino (3/14). Close behind on the scoring list is junior Katie Kepner, who brought her count to 16 goals this season after scoring three more in the Gauchos' last two contests. Kepner also leads the Gauchos for assists with 21.
Junior Kathryn Nelson continues to be the stalwart of the Gaucho defense. Nelson leads UCSB for steals with 30 and for field blocks with eight. As a well-rounded competitor, the junior has also found the goal 15 times and is second on the team for assists with eight. Second for steals is freshman Shelby Haroldson with 23 followed by Christie Clark (19) and Nancy Ruano (16). Lizzie Rouleau and Claire Buchanan rank second on the team in field blocks with seven each.
We're Going Streaking
Three Gauchos are now amidst scoring streaks. Claire Buchanan has extended her streak to four games, scoring a total of five goals across those contests. Katie Kepner and Kathryn Nelson both began new streaks this weekend. Nelson notched four goals in the Gauchos' last two games, while Kepner posted three between the weekend's two contests.
Ruth Milne has recorded a total of 188 saves this season, including a 15-save game against UC Davis (2/7) and nine games with 10 or more saves. After starting 18 of the Gauchos' 21 games, Milne is averaging 10.7 saves per game, and 7.1 goals against per game.
Another Big West Test
Next week, the Gauchos will continue Big West play when they face No. 10 Cal State Northridge on Saturday, May 10 at Campus Pool. UCSB will also play Cal Baptist that evening, before playing the annual alumni game on Sunday.