Gauchos Bid Farewell to Seniors in Final Homestand

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The Schedule-
Friday, April 20, 2007
No. 13 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 2 USC
At UCSB's Campus Pool, 5 p.m.

Saturday, April 21, 2007
UCSB Mini Tournament
No. 13 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 20 Cal State Northridge
At UCSB's Campus Pool, 12 p.m.

UCSB Mini Tournament
No. 13 UC Santa Barbara vs. Chapman
At UCSB's Campus Pool, 4:15 p.m.

Hosting the Weekend Away
After playing three games on the road last weekend, the No. 13 UCSB women's water polo team is playing the role of host this weekend, welcoming No. 2 USC on Friday and a slew of teams for a mini tournament Saturday. The Gauchos take to their home waters at 12 p.m. against MPSF team Cal State Northridge and non-conference opponent Chapman at 4:15 p.m. This is the first time that the Gauchos have played all of the three teams during the 2007 campaign.

Silicon Valley Woe
Last Saturday, the Gauchos traveled to play No. 8 San Jose State and fell victim to the Spartans' ability to capitalize on power play opportunities. SJSU built an early lead over UCSB, scoring seven goals in the first half to Santa Barbara's four. A three-goal fourth period comeback proved was not enough to lift the Gauchos over the Spartans and San Jose State won 12-9, which ended the Spartans' seven-game losing skid. Sophomore utility Gillian Morgan led all Gauchos with two goals while junior goalie Jenny Gonzales had a game-high 10 saves.

Afternoon Pick-Me-Up
Following the San Jose State match-up, Santa Barbara took on No. 18 Santa Clara University and it was the Gauchos turn to end a losing streak -- the 9-4 victory put a stop to UCSB's four-game losing streak. "We played a really good game, we attacked early," UCSB Head Coach Danielle Altman said. "We had really nice shots from the outside and took some really good shots in our six-on-five situations." Sophomore defender Amanda Tipton had a team-high three goals while Gonzales notched eight saves in goal.

Falling to the Best
UCSB's most difficult game of the weekend came Sunday against top-ranked Stanford. The Cardinal outscored the Gauchos by at least one in every period and built an early 7-3 halftime lead over UCSB. Stanford had a 10-4 advantage heading into the final period of play and Santa Barbara could not recover and the Cardinal won the game, 12-5. Five different Gauchos scored and Gonzales had six saves between the posts.

Sister-Sister Match-up
Sisters Gillian and Whitney Morgan will face off against each other Friday with Gillian competing for UCSB and Morgan playing in the cage for the Trojans. Gillian is tops on the Gaucho squad with 38 goals score and has a 13-game scoring streak. The sophomore utility has been one of if not the only top scorer in nine of Santa Barbara's past 17 games. Her Trojan sister Whitney, a redshirt sophomore goalie, is averaging 5.5 saves per game with 93 saves in 17 games between the posts.

Senior Power
Saturday's games will be the last home games seven senior Gauchos will ever play. Senior goalkeeper Rosey Redaelli, utility ZiZi Clark, defender Aimee Stachowski, attacker Allie Carkin, attacker Becca Maichrowicz, center Sarah Kovach and attacker Teale Walheim will all graduate at the end of the year. Collectively, the Class of 2007 is responsible for 171 goals for the Gauchos this season. Fellow teammates, coaches and fans will say goodbye to the seniors before Saturday's match-up against Cal State Northridge at Campus Pool.

Planning for the Postseason
This weekend's games are the last three regular-season matches for the Gauchos 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).

Probable UCSB Starters
No. 1 -- Jenny Gonzales (G): played all three games last weekend in goal
No. 3 -- ZiZi Clark (U): has not scored since April 5 but has 18 goals
No. 4 -- Lindsay Knott (ATT): score two goals in last weekend's three games
No. 6 -- Aimee Stachowski (D): was second on the team with seven goals in Arizona
No. 14 -- Amanda Tipton (D): scored in every game last weekend including a team-high three against Santa Clara
No. 15 -- Sarah Kovach (C): is second on the team with 31 goals
No. 22 -- Christie Clark (U): is fourth on the squad 25 goals

Scouting the Women of Troy
The Trojans (17-4 overall, 9-2 in the MPSF) rounded out their home season with three wins last weekend giving USC its fifth consecutive undefeated home season and its 38 straight home win. The Trojans boast the second-best offense in the country with 287 goals, which is more than twice the number of goals SC has allowed its opponents to score.

Manipulating the Matadors
Cal State Northridge picked up its first conference win last weekend with a 20-7 victory over Pacific. The 20 goals scored against the Tigers is a new school record and is the second time that 20 goals had been scored in a either team in a Northridge game. Santa Barbara holds the all-time lead over Northridge 6-1 with the Matadors' only win occurring in 2004 in a sudden-victory overtime 8-7 win.

Drowning the Sea Otters
CSUMB had lost had lots six straight games before recently defeating Pacific, 11-7. As of April 1, Chelsea Laning was leading the pack with 130 goals in 195 shots on goal. The Sea Otters also took on No. 8 San Jose State last weekend and hung with the Spartans for the majority of the game before losing to SJSU, 13-11.