No. 12 UCSB Heads North for Trio of Competitive Games

April 13, 2007

The schedule-
Saturday, April 14, 2007
No. 12 UC Santa Barbara at No. 8 San Jose State, 11 a.m.

No. 12 UC Santa Barbara at No. 17 Santa Clara University, 3 p.m.

Sunday, April 15, 2007
No. 12 UC Santa Barbara at No. 1 Stanford, 12 p.m.

On the Road Again
After three games at home in the past two weeks, the No. 12 Gauchos are traveling this weekend. Santa Barbara will play a doubleheader Saturday in San Jose against No. 8 San Jose State at 11 a.m. and then against No. 18 Santa Clara University at 3 p.m. Sunday, UCSB will square off against top-ranked Stanford in Palo Alto with the first sprint scheduled for 12 p.m.

Mid-week Match-up
No. 12 UC Santa Barbara hosts its last mid-week game Tuesday at Campus Pool against No. 4 Hawaii. It was a defensive contest at Campus Pool on Tuesday afternoon with No. 4 Hawaii emerging the victor over No. 12 UC Santa Barbara, 7-6. The Rainbow Wahine outscored the Gauchos in the first two periods to build an early lead that UCSB's three-goal fourth period could not overcome. The Gauchos drop 13-15 overall and 2-6 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

Trouble at Home, Part I
The Gauchos opened their series of home games Wednesday with an 8-7 loss to MPSF foe No. 11 Long Beach State. The teams tied the game five times throughout the course of play but the Beach used a strong fourth quarter to defeat UCSB and break LBSU's seven-game losing streak. Sophomore utility Gillian Morgan led all scorers with four goals but the Sacramento, Calif. native missed a key five-meter penalty shot in the fourth quarter. Junior goalie Jenny Gonzales had seven saves in goal.

Trouble at Home, Part II
Santa Barbara's woes continued the next day when it took on No. 11 Loyola Marymount on Thursday, April 5 at Campus Pool. The Lions outscored the Gauchos for most of the game and despite a UCSB three-goal fourth period, its comeback was too late and UCSB dropped the game, 9-7. Gonzales notched six saves in goal for UCSB including a clutch block on a five-meter penalty shot. Morgan and freshman utility Christie Clark led the Gauchos with two goals each in the loss.

Spotlight on Morgan
Sophomore Gillian Morgan was nominated for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation's player of the week award last week after leading all UCSB scorers last week with six goals in two games including a game-high of four against Long Beach. Morgan leads the UCSB's squad with 32 goals on the season.

Looking Towards the Horizon
After a road tip this weekend, the Gauchos will return home to play host to several visiting teams. UCSB will square up against MPSF opponent USC on Friday, April 20 at 5 p.m. at Campus Pool. Santa Barbara will then host its second mini tournament this season on Saturday, April 21. UCSB's Campus Pool facility will host other games as well Saturday. The Gauchos take to their home waters at 12 p.m. against MPSF team Cal State Northridge and non-conference opponent Cal State Monterey Bay at 4:15 p.m. For more information and a preview of the mini tournament games, check next week.

Planning for the Postseason
After today's nonconference game, the Gauchos will play seven regular-season games before the conclusion of the 2007 campaign. UC Santa Barbara will join its MPSF rivals in Tempe, Ariz. for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament. The winner of the tournament will receive the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament for a chance to become national champions.

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).

This is Sparta
No. 8 San Jose State is currently riding an six-game winning streak that dates back to March 10. The Spartans streak includes a recent upset over No. 4 UC Irvine, which was their second upset over a No. 4 ranked team this season. SJSU is currently tied for sixth in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation with a 12-9 overall record and 5-4 in conference play.

Roping the Broncos
No. 18 Santa Clara recently posted a 3-1 record at the Aggie Shootout last weekend in Davis with wins over UC San Diego, Cal State San Bernardino and Colorado State. The Broncos (17-11 overall, 12-3 in the Western Water Polo Association) have not played a game in two weeks. Santa Clara's Andrea Evans has scored for the Broncos in the past five games in which she has played.

Trimming the Cardinal
UCSB's most difficult game of the weekend will come at the end against No. 1 Stanford. The Cardinal (19-1, 8-0 in the MPSF) have scored in double digits in its past nine games and 11 of its last 12 and also boasts a 17-game winning streak. The Gauchos will have to watch Lauren Silver, who has scored in the past 20 games for the Cardinal.