Third-Seeded UCSB Heads to Long Beach for Big West Tournament

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April 22, 2010

• The Schedule

Friday, April 23, 2010 in Long Beach, Calif.
No. 14 UC Santa Barbara (17-10, 3-2) vs. Long Beach State (18-19, 0-5), 12:00 p.m.

Saturday April 24 and Sunday April 25, 2010 in Long Beach, Calif.
No. 14 UC Santa Barbara vs. TBD

• The Week Ahead
After splitting two conference games on the road to complete the regular season, the Gauchos head to Long Beach, Calif. for the 2010 Big West Tournament. The third-seeded Gauchos kick-off the tournament on Friday, April 24 against sixth seed Long Beach State at 5:45 p.m. If UCSB wins, it will face second seeded Cal State Northridge (27-7, 4-1) on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. for a chance to play in the Big West Championship game. In the event of a loss, the Gauchos will face the loser of the match between fourth-seeded UC Irvine and fifth-seeded UC Davis on Sunday for fifth place.

• For The Record
UCSB currently holds a record of 17-10. Despite suffering a loss this weekend, based upon their play in the three Big West Tournament games, the 2010 Gauchos still have potential to achieve the best record in UCSB women's water polo history, which is currently held by the 2007 team (20-15). UCSB has excelled at home this season, holding a 10-2 record when playing at Campus Pool. The Gauchos rank at No. 14 in the Collegiate Water Polo Association Top-20 Poll, dropping two spots from last week.

• Niner Knowledge
The Gauchos will open the 2010 Big West Tournament against the tournament host, Long Beach State. Long Beach is the sixth seed in the tournament and holds a regular season record of 18-19. The 49ers went winless in the Big West this season (0-5) and are coming off of a 7-4 non-conference win over Cal State Bakersfield. Long Beach is ranked last in the Big West this season in total goals (166) and goals per game (6.5), and is second to last in goals against per game (8.70). The Gauchos defeated Long Beach State by a score of 6-4 earlier this month during conference play (4/24).

• Aim for a Matador
UCSB is looking to get past Long Beach State in the first round in order to earn a match against second seeded Cal State Northridge on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. The winner of the Saturday match would then move on to the Big West Championip game on Sunday at 3:45 p.m. Cal State Northridge was 27-7 overall this season and went 4-1 in the Big West. Northridge also led the conference in total goals scored (349), goals per game (10.26) and goals against per game (6.35). The Matadors' most recent contest resulted in an 11-7 victory over Santa Clara. Should the Gauchos face Northridge in the second round, they will be looking for some revenge. Northridge bested UCSB in all three meetings this season, including the most recent: a 7-6 Matador victory during conference play (4/10).

• Gaucho Goals
After posting two straight hat tricks this weekend, Christie Clark has tied Lizzie Rouleau as the Gauchos' leading scorer in 2010 with 34 goals. Clark has five two-goal games, three hat tricks on the season, and has scored 14 goals in the Gauchos last seven games. The junior is also currently seventh on UCSB's all-time scoring list with 108 career goals. Rouleau, who has led the team in scoring since February 6, has recorded two four-goal games, three hat tricks, and five dual goal performances. Rouleau is currently 12th on the Gauchos all-time scoring list with 98 career goals. After scoring three goals this weekend, Kathryn Nelson moves to third on the team in scoring with 23, followed by Katie Kepner (21) and Shelby Haroldson (20). Kepner also leads the team for assists with 26.

• Defensive Domination
Junior Kathryn Nelson was the Gauchos' top defender throughout the 2010 regular season. Nelson currently leads UCSB for steals with 36 and for field blocks with 11. The junior is also second on the team for assists with 11. Second for steals is freshman Shelby Haroldson with 29, followed by Christie Clark (22) and Nancy Ruano (18). Claire Buchanan and Lizzie Rouleau rank second and third on the team in field blocks with nine and eight, respectively.

• We're Going Streaking
Four Gauchos are currently amidst scoring streaks. Kathryn Nelson is riding an eight-game streak dating back to March 27 against Pacific. In that time she's registered an impressive 12 goals. The Gauchos' offensive juggernauts, Lizzie Rouleau and Christie Clark, are both on three-game streaks, scoring six and seven goals, respectively. Michelle Beadreau also began a streak this weekend after notching a goal in each of the Gauchos' final two regular season games.

• Goalie Gossip
Ruth Milne is currently second in the Big West for saves per game with an average of 10. 4. Milne is also third in the conference for total saves with 244 this season. Ruth has registered a 15-save game, two 13-save games, and 10 other games with 10 or more saves. After starting 24 of the Gauchos' 27 games, Milne is averaging 7.2 goals against per game.

• Tournament Time
After dropping their final regular season game to Pacific, the Gauchos enter the Big West Tournament as the third seed, meaning they'll need three straight wins to emerge as Big West Champions. The Big West Conference Champion does not receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament until the 2011 season.