BACK EAST… AGAIN
UCSD heads back East for the second consecutive season, this time for the 2014 Bison Invitational. The Tritons finished the 2013 season in Boston at the National Collegiate National Championship and finished in sixth place. UCSD will play four games at the Bison Invitational, hosted by Bucknell at the Kinney Natatorium in Lewisburg, PA.
Over the weekend, Sarah Lizotte broke the UCSD all-time career scoring and assist records. The senior has scored 251 career goals to pass Triton Hall of Fame member, Olympian and former captain of the U.S. National Water Polo team Julie Swail's record of 245. Lizotte also passed Jamie Dailey's mark of 125 assists to put her total at 127. She also currently holds the UCSD single-season record for goals (92), attempts (228) and assists (67).
TRITON INVITATIONAL RECAP
UCSD hosted the 2014 Triton Invitational last weekend and finished 2-2 to place seventh. UCSD beat Marist in the opening game, 16-9, before falling to No. 11 Loyola Marymount, 7-6, in the nightcap at Canyonview Aquatic Center on day one. UCSD received a hat-trick from Lizotte and Melissa Bartow each to power the Tritons in the win over Marist in game one. In game two, LMU mounted a comeback in the final seconds to force overtime and escape with a win despite a pair of scores from Lizotte and Alexis Wieseler. Lizotte led the Tritons on the day with five total scores, while Courtney Miller stopped 16 shots in the cage. On Sunday, the Tritons split a pair of games and fell to No. 12 Long Beach State, 9-7, before beating No. 20 Santa Clara, 11-7. Lizotte tallied seven scores on the day, while Bartow pored in four goals. Miller ended the day with 15 saves on the day.
UCSD began the year at the UC Santa Barbara Winter Invite and returned to La Jolla with a perfect 4-0 record. On Saturday, UCSD opened the 2014 season with a pair of wins. The Tritons beat Concordia in game one, 21-2, before upsetting No. 5 Arizona State, 12-11, in the final game of the day. Lizotte and Wieseler led the Tritons on the day with seven goals apiece between the pair of victories. The following day, UCSD defeated No. 17 UC Santa Barbara, 11-7, and CSU Bakersfield, 14-8, to complete a weekend sweep at the UCSB Winter Invite. Wieseler and Leah Gonzales led the Tritons with four goals apiece on the day, while Miller recorded 14 saves in the cage.
In the latest Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) poll released Feb. 12, UCSD was slated No. 13 in the nation. The Tritons have reached as high as No. 6 this season, which marks the highest mark since head coach Brad Kreutzkamp took over the program in 2010.
WWPA PRESEASON POLL
UCSD has been slated to finish first in the 2014 Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) standings according to the league’s annual preseason coaches’ poll. The defending WWPA champion Tritons were a unanimous pick to reclaim the title in 2014 after garnering the maximum 16 points, including four first-place votes. Sonoma State was picked second and earned 12 points, while Cal State East Bay followed with 11 points in third. The Pioneers also received the final first-place vote. Rounding out the standings, Cal State Monterey Bay (6) was fourth and Cal State San Bernardino (5) was picked fifth.
The Tritons return many key players for the 2014 campaign, highlighted by Sarah Lizotte. The senior from Riverside was named the 2013 NCAA Division II Player of the Year by the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPAC), Division II All-American First Team, Division I All-American Honorable Mention, WWPA Player of the Year and All-WWPA First Team after scoring 92 goals and dishing out 67 assists, both single-season UCSD records. The Tritons also return sophomore Courtney Miller in the cage, who was named All-American First Team and All-WWPA First Team after setting the school single-season record for saves at 317. UCSD also returns senior Melissa Bartow (All-American First Team, All-WWPA First Team), sophomore Alexis Wieseler (All-American Second Team, All-WWPA Honorable Mention), senior Leah Gonzales, junior Jolene Guiliana and sophomore Julia Kirkland.
Sarah Lizotte has scored 251 career goals, good for first in school history to break Julie Swail’s record of 245. Lizotte also sits in first with 125 assists to pass Jamie Dailey’s mark of 125. She also currently holds the UCSD single-season record for goals (92), attempts (228) and assists (67) … Melissa Bartow has drawn 233 ejections in her career, which marks the UCSD all-time career record. Bartow is currently the UCSD all-time career leader in penalties drawn (29) as well … Courtney Miller holds the UCSD single-season record of saves (374) and sits in eighth in career saves … Jolene Guillana also shares the UCSD single-season assists record (67) with Lizotte, and sits in sixth (65) on the single-season steals list … Alexis Wiesseler sits in seventh on the UCSD single-season goals list (72) … The Tritons sport 21 California natives on their roster, with Courtney Miller (Honolulu, HI), Lauren Boyer (Honolulu, HI) and Nicole Gerwin (British Columbia, Canada) the three players from out of state.
HEAD COACH BRAD KREUTZKAMP
UCSD head coach Brad Kreutzkamp is in his fifth season leading the Tritons. He has compiled a career record of 83-68, with a winning percentage of .543. In his four seasons at the helm, Kreutzkamp has led UCSD to a pair of Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Championships and two appearances at the NCAA Championship. In his fourth season, Kreutzkamp led UCSD to an NCAA Championship berth after knocking off Loyola Marymount, 10-8, in the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) title game. The 12th-ranked Tritons finished a program-best sixth place at NCAA Championship and closed the season with a 26-15 overall mark, recording the most wins since the 1994 national championship squad went 28-2. He was honored as the Division II Coach of the Year by the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) and was also named WWPA Coach of the Year. In 2012, Kreutzkamp led the Tritons to their most wins since 2003 in his third season at the helm. UCSD finished 21-14 overall and narrowly missed their second straight trip to the NCAA Championship. He guided the Tritons to an 18-20 overall record in 2011, leading the Tritons to their first WWPA title since 2000 and the school’s first appearance at the NCAA Championship in program history. Kreutzkamp came to UCSD as an assistant coach with the women’s team in 1999 before joining longtime head coach Denny Harper on the men’s staff the following season. Prior to his arrival on the La Jolla campus, Kreutzkamp was the head coach of both the boys and girls varsity programs at Grossmont High School from 1996-99.
ABOUT THE WOLVERINES
Michigan, ranked No. 20 in the CWPA poll, currently sits at 1-6 overall in 2014. The Wolverines have lost six straight, with all six coming against ranked opponents including No. 3 UCLA. U-M is led by Kelsey Nolan, who has totaled 12 goals on the season. Preseley Pender facilitates the offense with 13 assists, while Emily Browning leads the defense in the cage with 31 saves. Head coach Matt Anderson is currently in his 12th season.
Michigan currently holds a 12-6 advantage over UCSD in the all-time series. U-M has won the last eight meetings, most recently in 2011.
ABOUT THE TIGERS
Princeton enters the Bison Invitational with a 3-0 overall record with wins over Wagner (9-4), Iona (11-4) and VMI (17-4). The Tigers are currently ranked No. 8 in the nation. Princeton is led by goalie Ashleigh Johnson, who was recently named CWPA Southern Division Player of the Week after recording a single-game record of 20 saves in the season opener. Luis Nicolao is currently in his 16th season at the helm of the Tiger water polo program.
Princeton currently holds a 9-3 advantage over UCSD in the all-time series. Princeton won the last meeting in 2013 at the NCAA Championship, 12-10, in the fifth-place matchup.
ABOUT THE COLONIALS
George Washington enters with a 2-2 overall record. The Colonials earned wins over Villanova (13-11) and VMI (14-7) and have fallen to Wagner (20-9) and Iona (14-3). GW is led by Megan Brolley’s nine goals and Rachel Bentley’s eight scores on the year. Chandler Vilander spearheads the Colonial defense in the cage and has recorded 28 blocks in 2014. The Colonials are led by Scott Reed, who is in his 15th season as head coach.
Sunday’s meeting will mark the first ever game between the two schools.
ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS
Wagner currently sits at 3-4 overall in 2014. The Seahawks have won two straight games with victories over George Washington, 20-9, and Harvard, 11-8. Wagner is led by Jess Lundgren, who was recently named the MAAC Offensive Player of the Week. She has totaled 13 assists and nine goals on the season, including a game where she tallied seven assists and four goals in the win over George Washington. The Seahawks are led by fourth-year head coach Chris Radmonovich.
UCSD currently holds a perfect 4-0 record against Wagner in the all-time series.
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UCSD heads back to California to compete in the UC Irvine Invite at Anteater Aquatics Complex on Feb. 22-23. The Tritons will begin the tournament against Hawaii on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 11:45 a.m.