No. 14 Gauchos Take Off for MPSF Tournament
April 25, 2007
TEMPE, Ariz. -
Thursday, April 26, 2007 MPSF Tournament, Tempe, Ariz.
No. 5 San Diego State vs. No. 14 UC Santa Barbara
Mona Plummer Aquatics Center, 11:20 p.m.
Friday, April 27-Sunday, April 29, 2007
No. 14 UC Santa Barbara at MPSF Tournament
At Mona Plummer Aquatics Center, tbd
Tempe or Bust
The No. 14 Gauchos will pack their bags and take off for sunny Tempe, Ariz. this week for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament, which is hosted by Arizona State. All 13 teams in the conference will participate in the tournament, which will last four days, and the winner will receive the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament for the chance to become national champions. The Gauchos received the 13 seed and will play their first game Thursday against fifth-seeded San Diego State at 11:20 p.m. The remainder of Santa Barbara's play as well as opponents in the tournament will be contingent on its performances.
The Gauchos have faced off against some tough competition in the past two weeks, playing six of their past nine games against teams ranked higher than them in the national polls. Santa Barbara went 1-3 last weekend, dropping games to No. 3 USC and No. 18 CSUN but handily defeating Chapman, 22-4. UCSB has dropped its past six Mountain Pacific Sports Federation games with its last conference win coming March 31 in an upset over then-ranked No. 11 Arizona State.
Top of the Team
Sophomore utility Gillian Morgan currently sits in second place on the Gaucho scoreboard with 41 goals scored in 34 games, only one short of first place. The Sacramento, Calif. native has scored at least one goal in 13 of the past 14 games and has been the top scorer in seven of those 14 games. Morgan led her class during the 2006 campaign with 23 goals and has repeated herself, being first in the class of 2009 with her 41 goals, 10 goals ahead of her closest fellow sophomore. Morgan has also had 11 multi-goal games this year in the 34 games she has played.
Sitting in first place in Gaucho statistics, senior center Sarah Kovach has had a spectacular senior season. On March 3, Kovach scored a team and match-high seven goals against Pacific in Stockton, Calif. Kovach's record-setting goals helped to lift the Gauchos over the Tigers for their first conference win of the 2007 campaign and broke Kovach's own single-game scoring record. Last season, the Sacramento, Calif. native tied the school record for number of goals in a game with six, and this season's seven puts Kovach atop the standings. Kovach has amassed 42 goals this season, good for first on the squad, and has had 13 multi-goal games, which is the highest of any Gaucho this season.
The sophomore class has been performing well above its lowerclassmen status would suggest this season. The class of 2009 is second in goals scored by class, amassing 85 goals this season. The second years have two in the top four scorers on the team with utility Gillian Morgan scoring 41 goals and defender Amanda Tipton is third on the squad with 31. Morgan, who regularly starts, Tipton and defender Katlin Kubas all see solid playing time. Fellow sophomores attackers Chrissy Elles and Kari Keach are bringing up the rear with two and one goals each, respectively.
Gauchos in the Goal
Though the team's overall record might not reflect it, the UCSB goalies have had a good season between the posts. Junior keeper Jenny Gonzales, who has played 33 games for the Gauchos, has 217 saves, allowing 250 goals to get past her. Gonzales averages 6.58 saves per game and 7.58 goals per game. Senior Rosey Redaelli and sophomore Melanie Dyer have also seen time in goal with Redaelli notching 26 games in five games and Dyer catching six shots in two games.
The Clark sisters -- utilities senior Zizi and freshman Christie -- have been making waves in their first year playing together as Gauchos. In her senior campaign, Zizi is sixth on the team with 22 goals, including five multi-goal games. Christie has outscored her sister by four with 26 goals in 34 games, which is also top among freshman.
Shooting the Lights Out
The Gauchos have scored more than 15 goals in three games this season, including a season-high 22 against Chapman on April 21. The 22 goals scored last Saturday is a total that the Gaucho program has not seen since the late '90s when that team scored 25 goals versus Pomona on Feb. 28, 1998 and 27 versus Oregon on April 25, 1997. The senior class anchored the offense against Chapman, scoring a collective 16 of the game's 22 goals in their last regular season games as Gauchos.
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).
Swimming in Competitive Waters
Santa Barbara made its annual migration to San Diego, Calif. to participate in the highly touted Triton Invitational on Feb. 10, hosted by UCSD. The Gauchos played four games -- three of which against opponent that were ranked higher than them -- and finished with a 3-1 record. UCSB opened the tournament with a 9-7 upset over then-ranked No. 12 Santa Clara with a third period 4-0 run. The Gauchos dropped the next game of the day to No. 6 San Diego State after the Aztecs scored a last-minute goal to take the march, 8-7. UCSB had a perfect Sunday taking the first day of the game against unranked Michigan, 7-4. The Gauchos exacted some revenge on No. 12 Hartwick, which had upset UCSB the weekend before, with a 12-6 demolishing of the Hawks to close the tournament.
Irvine Invitational Information
The Gauchos kicked off the ultra-competitive tournament in which all 16 teams were nationally ranked with a loss to then-ranked No. 4 Hawaii after the Rainbow Wahine built an early lead and finished well with two late goals. In the next game, it was Santa Barbara that established an early lead over No. 14 UC San Diego with three second-quarter goals to defeat the Tritons 8-5. The next day against No. 7 San Diego State, the Aztecs scored early and often against UCSB to give them an advantage which Santa Barbara was never able to overcome and it lost 8-5. The final game of the invitational -- a battle for 11th place with No. 11 Arizona State -- proved to be the most exciting game of the weekend. Even though UCSB was down 10-9, Christie Clark tied the game just before the end of regulation to push the game into overtime. However, UCSB could not overcome the Sun Devils' two goals to its one in overtime and lost the game 13-11.
After traveling to two tournaments, the Gauchos hosted a mini tournament of their own March 9-10 at Campus Pool. In the first game, a conference game against No. 9 SDSU, the Gauchos came back to tie the game in the fourth quarter but an Aztec scored the final goal with 2:43 left to play and UCSB was unable convert a final play opportunity and dropped the game, 4-3. Santa Barbara held UC San Diego scoreless in the second game of the day and two fourth quarter goals helped preserve the lead so the Gauchos won, 5-3. UCSB overpowered unranked Claremont in the final game of the tournament with 14 different players scoring in the 16-4 victory.
Under the Tempe Sun
At the end of their Spring Break, the Gauchos headed east to Arizona State to play in another tournament. UCSB kicked off the tournament Saturday morning with a 9-7 victory over Division III team Redlands, outscoring Redlands 3-1 in the fourth quarter. After losing to UCSB the day before, host team ASU avenged its loss Saturday afternoon using two four-goal periods to earn a 12-6 win. The following day, the Gauchos played No. 5 San Diego State and despite tying the score three times, UCSB failed to match SDSU in the final period and dropped the game, 7-6. Santa Barbara faced off against No. 18 Michigan in the tournament's final game and UCSB used a five-goal third period to defeat the Wolverines 9-7 to take third place in the tournament.
Host of the Town
Santa Barbara opened its pool to visitors last weekend for its second mini tournament of the season. Cal State Monterey Bay, Cal State Northridge, Chapman and the Gauchos all participated in the Saturday tournament at Campus Pool. The Gauchos began their day with a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match-up against No. 18 Cal State Northridge. The teams tied the score twice and neither team led by more than two at any point in the match. Santa Barbara was the only team to score in the first quarter off a goal from Gillian Morgan but the Matadors outscored UCSB 3-2 in the second stanza to tie the game. CSUN scored one goal in the third period and it proved to help it over the edge with the Gauchos' attempts to score in the final moments of the game failing and the Matadors won 6-5. The Gauchos said goodbye to the seven members of the Class of 2007 in its final regular season game that afternoon against unranked Chapman. All seven seniors started the game and all seven scored at least one goal with the exception of goalie Rosey Redaelli to help UCSB to a 22-4 win.
Scouting the Aztecs
The Gauchos have played against the Aztecs four times, which makes San Diego State the team that UCSB has played the most in the 2007 campaign. The Gauchos have lost all four games this season to SDSU, with the Aztecs winning three games by only one goal. Stacy Werner and Jenna Schuster were named to the all-MPSF team after contributing 53 and 70 goals, good for third and first on the SDSU team, respectively. The Aztecs finished the regular season in fifth place in the MPSF with an 8-4 conference record, going 25-7 overall. SDSU is 4-2 in its past six games, losing to USC and ASU.
Senior Class of 2007
1--Rosey Redaelli--GK (Tustin, Calif./Foothill HS) * Played in goal in 33 games during her career
* Has 157 saves in her four years at UCSB
* Led all UCSB goalies with 76 saves during the 2006 campaign
"Rosey really brings blocking and adds to our team's defense," Altman said. "She has an uncanny ability to make the block, especially the ones on the counters."
'07 Season Statistics: 26 saves in five games; 5.2 saves per game
3--Zizi Clark--UT (Atherton, Calif./Sacred Heart Prep)
* Is a co-captain during the 2007 campaign
* Is 12th on the career scoring list with 63 goals
* Is a three-time MPSF All-Conference nominee, All-Academic team
"Zizi has been a four-year starter and brings intensity and focus to this team," Altman. "She always does a little bit of everything in the pool and is one of the best all-around players at UCSB."
'07 Season Statistics: 22 goals (fifth on the team) in 34 games played
6--Aimee Stachowski--D (Tustin, Calif./Capistrano Valley HS)
* Current team co-captain
* 2005 All-America, two-time All-MPSF pick
* Is ninth on the career scoring list with 86 goals
"Aimee has been a force since her first day in the pool," Altman said. "She has done an amazing job as a defender and makes our team better every day."
'07 Season Statistics: 28 goals (fourth on the team) in 34 games played
7--Allie Carkin--ATT (Kailua, Hawaii/Mid-Pacific Institute)
* Has scored 31 career goals as a Gaucho
* Is a MPSF All-Academic Team recipient
* Scored a season-high three goals against Chapman
"Allie does a great job attacking with the ball and brings excellent shooting," Altman said. "She is definitely one of the feistiest players on the team."
'07 Season Statistics: 12 goals (eighth on the team) scored in 30 games
12--Becca Maichrowicz--ATT (Temple City, Calif./Temple City HS)
*Four-year letter winner
*Has scored nine career goals
*Voted most inspirational her freshman season
"Becca is one of the most inspirational players on this team," Altman said. "She has been a positive force, bringing excellent knowledge of the game."
'07 Season Statistics: three goals (17th on the team) in 20 games played
15--Sarah Kovach--C (Roseville, Calif./Woodcreek HS)
* Set school record for goals scored in a game (7) on March 3
*Is 11th on career scoring list with 82 goals
*Is first on the 2007 squad after scoring 42 goals
"You can always count on Kovach to make the big shot," Altman said. "She has been a great center and makes amazing goals both inside and outside the perimeter."
'07 Season Statistics: 42 goals (first on the team) scored in 34 games
20--Teale Walheim--ATT (Exeter, Calif./Exeter HS)
* Joined the program in 2005 as a sophomore
* Collected 21 goals in her three-year Gaucho career
* Had a team-high four goals against Chapman (4/21/07)
"Teale has the best outside shot on the team," Altman said. "You can count on her to put the ball in the back of the net."
'07 Season Statistics: nine goals (10th on the team) scored in 20 games