Northridge, Cal Baptist Next Up for Gauchos

April 6, 2011

• The Schedule
Saturday, April 9, 2011
 
No. 15 UC Santa Barbara (19-8) at No. 16 Cal State Northridge, 12 p.m.
No. 15 UC Santa Barbara vs. Cal Baptist, 2:30 p.m.
At Matador Pool

• This Week In Water Polo
No. 15 UCSB will continue Big West Conference action this weekend when it heads to No. 16 Cal State Northridge to take-on the Matadors in a noon contest on Saturday. The Gauchos will then play their final non-conference contest of the regular season against Cal Baptist at 2:30 p.m.

• Last Time Out
UCSB concluded regular season home play with a trio of games at Campus Pool. The Gauchos took down Brown in a mid-week game, 12-5, before posting consecutive 9-5 wins over No. 18 Pacific and No. 15 UC Davis, respectively, to open league play.

• For The Record
The Gauchos have improved to 19-8 overall on the season and are 2-0 in Big West games. With four regular season contests left to play, UCSB has already exceeded its number of wins from the 2010 season (18-12). In fact, the Gauchos' 19 victories are the most since the 1997 team posted a 20-15 record. UCSB is currently ranked 15th nationally in the Collegiate Water Polo Association Poll.

• We're Going Streaking!
UCSB is currently amidst a seven-game win streak, its best of the season. The Gauchos have won their past seven games by an average margin of five goals.

• Buchanan's Big Week
Senior Claire Buchanan had a big week as she scored nine goals to lead UCSB to its three consecutive home wins. She opened the week with a career-high five goals in the 12-5 win over Brown and followed that up with a hat trick in the win over Pacific. She finished the weekend with the first goal against UC Davis, giving UCSB the early lead, which it never relinquished. In addition to her nine goals, she also drew 14 ejections and tallied three steals. The Carmichael, Calif. native is currently amidst a season-high seven-game scoring streak.

• Nelson Notebook
Senior Kathryn Nelson continues to lead the Gauchos in goals with 48 this season, which is one shy of matching her total goals from her previous three seasons with UCSB. Nelson has scored in all but four contests this year, is amidst a six-game scoring streak and has had 16 multiple goal games. Additionally, she is first on the team in steals (33) and field blocks (10). While we are on the topic of Nelson's, Rachel Nelson is currently amidst a five-game scoring streak in which she has tallied six goals. The sophomore has 16 goals on the year.

• Last Line of Defense
Sophomore goalkeeper Ruth Milne has started all 27 contests in goal for the Gauchos this season. Milne is currently averaging 12.1 saves per game and 7.2 goals against. She has had double-digit saves on 16 occasions, including a season-best 16 against Cal on Feb. 26. Milne, who has totaled 255 saves so far, is just 20 away from tying her own school record for single season saves and 65 away from matching the UCSB career record set by Yvonne Conard (2000-02) at 595 saves.

• Rookie of the Year
While the Gauchos' top-four scorers this season are seniors (Kathryn Nelson, Kristin Kulakowski, Christie Clark and Claire Buchanan), freshman Molly Hafferkamp is No. 5 on the team with 19 goals. The freshman has scored in five of the last six contests, including a goal in each of the Gauchos' Big West wins last week. She is currently averaging 0.86 goals per game.

• Record Watch
Senior Christie Clark's 29 goals this season have brought her career count to 145, which ranks fourth on the UCSB career-scoring list. She needs seven more goals to match No. 3 Jennifer D'Anna's career output. Kathryn Nelson (97 goals) and Claire Buchanan (96 goals) rank 12th and 13th, respectively.

• What's Next?
Following this week, UCSB will remain on the road to wrap-up its regular season schedule with conference games at Long Beach State (April 16) and UC Irvine (April 17). The games will both be played at noon.

• UCSB To Host 2011 Big West Championship
The 2011 Big West Tournament will be hosted by UCSB at Campus Pool the weekend of April 29 through May 1. This season marks the first that the conference will have an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament, which will be on the line along with the conference crown.

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