Gauchos Play Host to Five Teams in Mini Tournament

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March 7, 2007


The schedule-
Friday, March 9, 2007:
No. 12 UC Santa Barbara vs. Marist, 1 p.m.
At UCSB's Campus Pool

Saturday, March 10, 2007:
No. 12 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 8 San Diego State, 10:30 a.m.
At UCSB's Campus Pool

No. 12 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 15 UC San Diego, 1:30 p.m.

At UCSB's Campus Pool

No. 12 UC Santa Barbara vs. Claremont, 4:30 p.m.
At UCSB's Campus Pool

Gauchos Welcome Company
After traveling to three out-of-town tournaments, Santa Barbara gets to play host this weekend, sponsoring the first of the season's two UCSB Mini Tournaments. The tournament will feature eight games between five different teams -- Claremont, Marist, San Diego State, UC San Diego and University of Redlands. The Gauchos will take on Marist on Friday and San Diego State, UC San Diego and Claremont on Saturday at Campus pool.

Road Troubles
The Gauchos headed north for a three games last weekend, finishing with a 1-2 record. Things looked promising for UCSB in the first game of the weekend at No. 8 UC Davis, with Santa Barbara leading 4-3 at the half but the Aggies used a six-goal second half to overpower UCSB, 9-5. The Gauchos rebounded later Saturday in Stockton, Calif. with a 13-6 blowout over unranked Pacific a record-breaking seven goals from senior center Sarah Kovach. UCSB was not as lucky against No. 4 Cal and it dropped the game 10-7 to fall to 7-8 overall and 1-2 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

Record-breaking Performance
Senior center Sarah Kovach scored a team-high nine goals over the course of three road games last weekend. Kovach contributed seven goals for the No. 12 Gauchos in the 13-6 victory over Pacific. With those seven goals, Kovach not only sets a new UC Santa Barbara school scoring record but breaks her previous personal record of six, which is now second on the all-time list. The Roseville, Calif. is first on the UCSB squad with 21 goals in 15 games, averaging 1.4 goals per game and as of statistics through March 2, Kovach is also first on the team with 15 steals.

Holding Steady
The Gauchos have maintained their No. 12 national ranking for the past several weeks. Santa Babrara is currently tied for seventh place in the competitive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation with a 1-2 conference record and is one game short of .500, sitting at 7-8 overall. The MPSF features 11 of the teams ranked in the top 20.

Racking Up the Points
Seniors utility ZiZi Clark and defender Aimee Stachowski are leading the Gauchos with 32 points each on the season. Clark, who has scored 12 times has dished out a team-high 21 assists to her teammates and has played in all 15 games. Stachowski has contributed 13 goals and is just behind Clark with 19 assists on the year. Stachowski is tops with 20 steals in addition to a team-high 10 field blocks.

Tipping the Scales
Sophomore defender Amanda Tipton has proven herself an all-around competitor this year for the Gauchos. The Sunnyvale, Calif., native has scored in seven of UCSB's 15 games, including three multi-goal games and one goal in each of last weekend's three games. In addition to her 12 goals and 15 assists, Tipton has 12 steals -- good for third on the team -- and has drawn a team-high 22 kickouts.

On the Deck With Coach Altman
Head Coach Danielle Altman enters her fifth season at the helm of the UC Santa Barbara women's water polo team in 2007. Under her tutelage, the 2006 Gauchos finished the season with an overall record of 18-17 and were ranked 14th in the Collegiate Water Polo Association National Coaches Poll after placing 10th in the ultra-competitive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The 2006 season was the second consecutive winning season for Altman at UCSB marking the first pair of back-to-back winning seasons for the Gauchos in recent program history (1996 or later).

Probable UCSB Starters:
No. 1 -- Jenny Gonzales (G): Is 11th in the MPSF with 96 saves in 14 games
No. 3 -- ZiZi Clark (U): has scored one goal in each of the past four games
No. 4 -- Lindsay Knott (ATT): Leads the Gauchos with 38 springs won in 44 attempts
No. 6 -- Aimee Stachowski (D): has a team-high 20 steals
No. 14 -- Amanda Tipton (D): has drawn a team-high 22 kickouts
No. 15 -- Sarah Kovach (C): Is first on the team and 25th in the MPSF with 21 goals,
No. 22 -- Christie Clark (U): Is second on the squad with 17 goals in 49 shot

Hunting the Foxes
While Marist has a 9-7 overall record, it has yet to take a game from a nationally ranked opponent. Sophomore two-meter Katelin McCahill leads the Red Foxes with 29 goals in 79 attempts. Sophomore utility Kari Weston leads her squad with 26 steals and has dished out a team-high 18 assists. Between the posts, junior goalie Elizabeth Davis has 134 saves to average and 17 steals but allows an average of seven goals per game.

Defending the Aztecs
No. 8 San Diego State split its weekend games with a 14-8 loss to top-ranked Stanford and a 11-9 victory over No. 6 San Jose State. The Aztecs have a pair of scorers in the MPSF top 10 scoring leaders with senior Stacy Werner amassing 24 goals and sophomore Anna Gonzales nipping her heals with 23 goals, both in 12 games played.

Tackling the Tritons
The Gauchos have already earned a win over No. 15 UCSD this season, defeating the Tritons 8-5 at the Irvine Invitational on Feb. 24. UCSB holds a 20-10 overall record over San Diego and beat the Tritons twice last year in two games with a one-goal margin. UCSD (5-7 overall) has lost five of its past six games but has defeated three ranked opponents this season.

Scouting the Athenas
Claremont has only played three games this season --losing its first two games to Cal State San Bernardino and Cal Baptist but picking up a win in its most recent game against Sienna. The team is a young squad with only four upperclassmen and only has 15 players.