April 3, 2008

No. 17 Gauchos Return Home to Host No. 7 Arizona State, No. 6 Cal

April 3, 2008

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• The Schedule
Saturday, Apr. 5, 2008
No. 7 Arizona State at No. 17 UC Santa Barbara, 12 pm
at UCSB's Recreation Center Pool

Sunday, Apr. 6, 2008
No. 6 Cal at No. 17 UC Santa Barbara, 12 pm
at UCSB's Recreation Center Pool

• This Week In Water Polo
The No. 17 UC Santa Barbara women's water polo team, which is still looking for its first conference win of the season, will return home to host a pair of Mountain Pacific Sports Federation games this weekend at the Recreation Center Pool. On Saturday, UCSB will take-on No. 7 Arizona State before facing No. 6 Cal on Sunday. Both games are scheduled for a noon start.

• Gauchos Defeated by No. 3 USC, 17-6
In their first meeting with No. 3 USC this season, the Gauchos hung in with the Trojans for the first quarter and trailed by just one point, 2-1. The second quarter, however, the USC offense came alive as they outscored the Gauchos, 6-2 behind a pair of goals by current MPSF Player of the Week Veronika Bartunkova. The Trojans went on to capture the 17-6 victory, while UCSB picked up its 14th consecutive loss. Sophomore Christie Clark led the Gaucho effort with a hat trick, while Katie Kepner contributed a pair of goals.

• For The Record
As mentioned above, the Gauchos are currently amidst a 14-game losing streak, and have not won a game since early February. They hold an overall record of 4-14 and have gone 0-8 in MPSF games with four conference games left on the slate this season. UCSB, which was ranked 18th in last week's Collegiate Water Polo Association Top-20 Poll, has moved up one spot this week and is currently tied 17th with Indiana.

Paul Rave Named Interim Head Coach
Paul Rave, the UC Santa Barbara women's water polo assistant coach, has been named interim head coach it was announced recently by the UCSB Athletics Department. Rave will be filling in for the remainder of the 2008 season for head coach Jenn Durley due to medical reasons. Rave has been on the Gaucho coaching staff since the fall 2006 men's water polo season. He has served as the men's and women's assistant coach for the past two seasons.

• Remainder of Home Contests Will by Played at Rec Cen Pool
The Gauchos' home facility, Campus Pool, will remain closed for the remainder of the season it was announced recently by the Athletics Department. Therefore, the remaining three home contests against Arizona State (Apr. 5), Cal (Apr. 6), and Pacific (Apr. 13), will all be played at the Recreation Center Pool. As always, admission to all water polo games is free.

• Around The Conference
No. 1 UCLA extended its record to a perfect 22-0 overall and 8-0 in MPSF games last weekend with a road win over No. 4 Hawai'i. No. 3 USC stands one game ahead of No. 2 Stanford in MPSF standings with a 7-1 record, the Cardinal have gone 6-1. The two teams will face-off on Saturday. No. 5 San Diego State and Hawai'i are currently tied for fourth with a 6-2 MPSF mark, while Cal is in sixth with a 5-4 record. UCSB (0-8) and Pacific (0-10) are the lone teams in the conference that have yet to record a win.

• Count On Christie
Sophomore Christie Clark reached 61 career goals last weekend when she posted a hat trick against USC. The utility player is currently second on the team with 26 goals this season, and one of only two Gauchos to surpass 20 goals. In the last three games played, Clark has scored multiple-goals, including a season-high tying four against San Diego State (Apr. 9) and two at Hawai'i (Apr. 15). In fact, the Atherton, Calif. native has had eight multiple-goal games this season, including five games with a hat trick or more. Her 61 career goals rank her 15th amongst all-time Gaucho career goal leaders and she currently stands just six goals away from tying her older sister ZiZi Clark's (2004-07) 67 career goals.

• The Century Club
For only the third time this season, junior Gillian Morgan was held scoreless on Friday against USC, though she did tally a pair of steals. The utility player currently leads the Gauchos for the second consecutive year for goals scored with a total of 37. During the Feb. 24 game against Cal State Northridge, Morgan surpassed 100 career goals and she now has 109, which ranks sixth all-time in the Gaucho record books and makes her one of only eight UCSB players to reach the 100 goal mark. Morgan is also ranked sixth in the MPSF with her 2.06 goals per game average.

• Goalie Gossip
Senior goalkeeper Jenny Gonzales notched seven saves in the first three quarters of Friday's game against the Trojans. The senior has collected 112 saves this season and is averaging 5.83 saves per game. The last two contests, Gonzales has shared time manning the goal with freshman Kate Murphy, who posted one save in the final quarter of the USC game. Murphy has 11 saves on the year.

• Scouting the Sun Devils
No. 7 Arizona State enters this weekend's action with a 17-9 overall record and a 4-4 MPSF mark. The Sun Devils defeated UC San Diego (8-4), Cal Baptist (14-4), and Cal State San Bernardino (11-3) in non-conference action last week. They also defeated MPSF foe Pacific, 17-9. Arizona State is currently amidst a six-game win streak. ASU is led by Addison McGrath, who has posted 64 goals this season and is second in the conference for goals per game with 2.46. Goalkeeper Caylinn Wallace leads the MPSF for saves per game with an average of 10.31. The Gauchos and Sun Devils met on four occasions last season with ASU taking three out of the four games. UCSB posted its lone win in a MPSF match-up by way of a 7-6 score, but ASU captured a 10-9 victory over the Gauchos at the MPSF Championships.

• Scouting the Golden Bears
No. 6 Cal, which will face No. 1 UCLA before heading to Santa Barbara on Sunday, has posted a 14-7 record this season and has gone 5-4 in MPSF games. The Bears dropped a 7-5 decision to San Diego State last Thursday before returning to Berkeley and posting a pair of wins over Brown (14-3) and Hartwick (14-7). Cal is led by Grace Reynolds and Molly Hayes, who average 1.86 and 1.67 goals per game, respectively. In the goal, Heather Stuart ranks second in the MPSF with her 9.65 saves per game. UCSB and Cal faced-off earlier this season at the UC Irvine Tournament where the Golden Bears picked up a 7-2 victory.

• Coming Attractions
Next week, UCSB will host its final home contest of the season against conference foe Pacific on April 13 at noon. The game will take place at UCSB's Recreation Center Pool.