UCSB Travels to Stockton for NorCal Tournament

UCSB Travels to Stockton for NorCal Tournament

• Schedule
Saturday, September 17, 2011
#8 UC Santa Barbara (5-1) vs. #13 Concordia University (8-0), 12:00 p.m.
#8 UC Santa Barbara vs. #20 Air Force or #3 UCLA, 4:00 p.m. or 5:20 p.m.
in Stockton, Calif. (at Delta Junior College)

Sunday, September 18, 2011
Games TBD
in Stockton, Calif. (at Delta Junior College or University of the Pacific)

• Tournament Outlook
The Gauchos will take on the Concordia at noon on Saturday, Sept. 17 to open action at the 2011 Northern California Tournament. A victory gives them a berth into the 5:20 p.m. game, against the winner of UCLA vs. Air Force game. UCSB will continue tournament play with two games on Sunday, one in the morning and another in the afternoon.

Fresh off his 100th career victory, UCSB head coach Wolf Wigo is looking for a strong tournament performance to solidify his team's national championship hopes. UCSB dropped two places to #8 in this week's Collegiate Water Polo Association Top-20 Poll after a loss to UC Irvine, 13-8, on Saturday. The Gauchos immediately rebounded when they traveled to La Verne, Calif. for the Inland Empire Classic. UCSB defeated Pomona Pitzer, Redlands, and Chapman to go 3-0 in the tournament.

• Past Performance
Last year at the NorCal Tournament, UCSB went 3-1, taking fifth place overall. The Gauchos defeated UCSD, 10-7, and then narrowly lost to then #4 Stanford, 7-6, on the first day of action in 2010. They went on to defeat Pacific, 9-5, and UC Irvine, 10-9, to place fifth in the tournament.

• Team Stats
Sophomore Matt Gronow will look to continue his fast start. With 15 total goals, including seven in the past two games, Gronow currently paces the team offensively. Junior Jesse Gillespie and freshman Chase Racich – with 10 and 14 goals, respectively – help bolster a strong Gaucho attack that set a school record for goals against Chapman last week with 32.  

Goalkeeping has also been an area of strength for UCSB, as junior Myles Christian leads the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in total saves with 36 and saves per game with 11.08. Sophomore Jay Lovoro is third in the conference with 7.64 saves per game.
Brian Shoemaker, the top returning scorer from last year, will likely rejoin the team this weekend after missing the first six games of the season.