While the season ended weeks ago, the accolades continue to accumulate for the UCSB women’s water polo team as the offseason begins. Senior utility Gillian Morgan and junior center Lizzie Rouleau were both voted All-Big West First Teamers, while senior defender Amanda Tipton was named to the honorable mention squad.
As a junior, Rouleau managed 35 goals this year and averaged 1.21 per game, capitalizing mostly on contested looks near the net. Though they may have been contested, Rouleau’s .593 shot percentage ranked first among the Santa Barbara players who participated in 20 games or more. As a mark of her physical play, the Los Altos native led the Gauchos with 50 ejections in 2009, as well as contributing 16 steals and three field blocks.
“She was playing well all year round but she really came on strong in the [Big West] tournament,” Head Coach Wolf Wigo said.
In her final year, Tipton came on strong for UCSB during their Big West Tournament run, finding the back of the net in their final four contests. During that period, the St. Francis High School product scored 10 of her 21 total goals, and three of her five multi-goal performances. Also not one to shy away from contact, Tipton earned 32 ejections, 19 steals and a team-high 10 field blocks for Santa Barbara. The senior defender will leave UCSB ranked 11th on the career-scoring list with 90 goals.
“She was the centerpiece of our defense, and her presence will be sorely missed,” Wigo said.
In capping off a historic career, Morgan saved her best season for last. The senior utility out of Rio Americano High School set a program single-season scoring record with an astounding 83 goals, finishing her career with 205, eight back of Kelley Tiffany’s program record of 213. Morgan also broke the Gaucho single-game scoring record with a seven-strike performance against then-#13 Long Beach State on Feb. 22.
With a team-high 5.6 shots per goals average, Morgan scored in all but two matches in 2009, and when she did score, she usually didn’t stop at one. In the 27 games she scored in, Morgan recorded 22 multi-goal games, including seven contests in which she netted five or more. Apart from her scoring, the senior utility posted 13 assists, 19 steals and three field blocks while earning 32 ejections.
“She was definitely our biggest threat at the offensive end [this season],” Wigo said.