Four Gauchos Earn All-Big West Honors
May 11, 2011
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Four UC Santa Barbara women's water polo players were named to All-Big West teams it was announced on Wednesday morning by the conference. Senior Kathryn Nelson and sophomore Ruth Milne were each honored with All-Big West Second Team accolades while seniors Claire Buchanan and Christie Clark garnered Honorable Mention distinction.
Nelson, a utility player, led the Gauchos in scoring this season tallying 54 goals to go along with 16 assists and a team-leading 37 steals. The senior led UCSB in scoring in 10 of its games and scored in all but four of the games she played in. She had 18 multiple-goal games and ended the season amidst a 10-game scoring streak. This marks Nelson's first career all-conference honor. She finished her career ranked ninth all time on the UCSB career scoring list with 103 goals.
A year after earning Honorable Mention All-Big West honors, Milne was named to the Second Team. The goalkeeper started every game in goal for the Gauchos and accumulated 312 saves during the year for an 11.52 saves per game average, which led the conference. She tallied double digit saves on 21 occasions and was third in the league with her 6.90 goals against average. Just two years into her career, Milne is just eight saves away from tying the UCSB career saves record of 595 blocks, set by Yvonne Conard.
Buchanan, a senior utility player, earned her first career Big West honor with her Honorable Mention nod. She was second on the team with 42 goals and led the team with a whopping 86 ejections earned. Buchanan led the Gauchos in scoring in seven games and had 12 multiple goal games. She ended the season amidst a 12-game scoring streak. Buchanan finishes her career at UCSB as the No. 8 all-time leading scorer with 104 career goals.
Clark's All-Big West honor marks the second of her career; she was named to the Second Team in 2010. The senior was third on the team with 29 goals this season and also tallied 14 assists, 14 steals and drew 30 ejections for the Gauchos. She had nine multiple-goal games and four games with a hat trick or more. Clark concludes her career as the fourth most prolific scorer in UCSB history with 145 career goals.
UCSB finished the 2011 campaign with 16-13 overall record and tied for second in the Big West regular season standings with a 3-2 league mark. The Gauchos' four All-Big West honorees marks its most since the conference began sponsoring water polo in 2009.