April 17, 2008

Gauchos to Wrap-Up Regular Season at Northridge on Saturday

April 17, 2008

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• The Schedule
Saturday, Apr. 19, 2008
UCSB at Cal State Northridge, 10 a.m.
UCSB vs. Cal State San Bernardino, 1 p.m.
at Matador Pool

• This Week In Water Polo
After completing its 2008 home schedule last weekend, the No. 17 UC Santa Barbara women's water polo team will wrap up the regular season on the road at No. 15 Cal State Northridge on Saturday. The Gauchos will face-off with the Matadors at 10 a.m. in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation game that will determine the 11th seed into the conference tournament. UCSB will also play a non-conference game with Cal State San Bernardino on Saturday at 1 p.m.

• UCSB's 16 Game Losing Skid Comes to an End
Santa Barbara snapped a 16-game losing streak last Sunday with a 16-6 victory over Mountain Pacific Sports Federation foe Pacific at the Gauchos' Recreation Center Pool. Sophomore Christie Clark posted back-to-back goals to get the Gauchos out to a 2-0 start during the first few minutes of the game and they never looked back. Clark led the team with a career-best five goals while Gillian Morgan and Amanda Tipton each had two apiece. Seven other UCSB players scored in the contest, including freshman Marilee Silveria, who notched the first goal of her career.

• For The Record
The Gauchos improved to 5-16 on the season and 1-10 in MPSF games with last Sunday's win. UCSB is currently tied for 11th place in conference with Cal State Northridge and Saturday's contest will determine which team will get the 11th seed into the MPSF Tournament. After moving up to 16th in the Collegiate Water Polo Association's Top-20 Poll last week, the Gauchos dropped back down to 17th in this week's poll. Of the Gauchos' 16 losses this season, four have been by one goal and four have been by two.

• All The Rave
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. Since Rave took the reigns, the Gauchos have posted a 1-4 record, including a tightly fought 5-4 loss to No. 7 Arizona State and an 8-6 loss to No. 6 Cal.

• Around The Conference
No. 1 UCLA locked up the number one seed into next week's conference tournament with a pair of wins last week over Arizona State and San Diego State. The Bruins are undefeated this season. No. 2 Stanford and No. 3 USC have clinched the second and third seeds, respectively, while No. 4 San Diego State will be the fourth seed and No. 7 Hawai'i has grabbed the fifth seed. As mentioned above, UCSB will be battling it out with Northridge on Saturday for the 11th seed into the tournament. If they earn that seed, the Gauchos will face the sixth seed in the tournament's first round, which could be Arizona State, Cal, or UC Irvine. If the Gauchos lose Saturday's contest, they will be the 12th seed and face Hawai'i in the first round.

• Count On Christie
Sophomore Christie Clark has been impressive in the Gauchos' last several games, stringing together a six-game streak of multiple goal games. Last weekend, the utility player posted a career-high five goals as the Gauchos defeated Pacific, 16-6. In the process, she brought her career total to 71 goals, which ranks 14th all-time amongst UCSB career leaders and surpasses the 67 career goals posted by her older sister, ZiZi Clark (2004-07). This season, she has tallied 36 goals, good for second on the team, and has notched 19 of those over the last six consecutive contests. The sophomore currently ranks 16th amongst MPSF players with her 1.71 goals per game average. In addition to her five goals on Sunday, Clark also had a steal, an assist, and a drawn ejection.

• The Morgan Watch
Junior Gillian Morgan continues to rank in the MPSF top-10 (tenth to be exact) for goals per game with her average of 1.95. The utility player posted two goals in the win over Pacific along with a pair of assists. Morgan leads the Gauchos for the second consecutive season for goals scored; she has tallied 41 this season. The junior has posted 12 multiple goal games and has scored in all but four contests. During the Feb. 24 game against Cal State Northridge, Morgan surpassed 100 career goals and she now has 113, 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.

• Goalie Gossip
Senior goalkeeper Jenny Gonzales, who played in her last home contest last weekend, had a strong showing against Pacific, posting six saves while allowing just three Tiger goals. Currently, she is averaging 6.33 saves per game. This season, the senior has posted 133 total saves for the Gauchos. Freshman Kate Murphy filled in during the second half of the contest with the Tigers and made four saves and allowed three goals as well. She also tallied a pair of assists for UCSB.

• Northridge Notes
The Northridge water polo team enters this weekend with an overall record of 10-17 and a 1-10 Big West mark. The Matadors most recently faced Arizona State last Saturday, falling 12-5 to the Sun Devils. They also paired up with San Diego State on Sunday, falling 15-8. Allison Brookes leads the team with 38 goals this season, while teammate Jessica Coy has posted 32. Jillian Stapf leads the defense with an average of 8.6 saves per game. The two teams last faced-off at the UC Irvine Invitational on Feb. 24 where the Matadors edged the Gauchos, 8-7. Gillian Morgan posted four goals in the loss.

• Coming Attractions
Following the completion of the regular season this week, the UCSB women's water polo team will head to the MPSF Tournament in San Diego, Calif. a week from today. The tournament, which runs Apr. 24-27 will be hosted by San Diego State and the winner will earn the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Championships being held May 9-11 at Stanford.

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