No. 5 Gauchos Travel to No. 1 UCLA for Final Regular Season Game

Eric Van de Mortel (By Ron Robertson)
Eric Van de Mortel (By Ron Robertson)

• The Schedule
Saturday November 19, 2011 at 12:00 p.m.
No. 5 UC Santa Barbara (15-9, 3-4 MPSF) at No.1 UCLA (19-3, 5-1 MPSF), 12:00 p.m.
at Spieker Aquatics Center in Los Angeles, Calif.

• Last Conference Game of 2011
UC Santa Barbara looks to finish the regular season strong against a tough, but beatable UCLA team. The Gauchos are fresh off their 12-10 victory over then-No. 5 UC Irvine in what was UCSB's final home game of 2011. UCLA will host their cross-town rivals USC on Friday, hopefully giving the advantage to the fresh Gauchos on Saturday. This weekend's game was originally scheduled for a 2 p.m. start but was moved up to noon.

UCSB travels to Los Angeles this weekend to face the Bruins, and they will return next Friday for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships held at the Spieker Aquatic Center. 

• MPSF Championship
The Gauchos are locked in for the fifth seed in the MPSF Championship, with their opponent still to be determined. UCSB could play Stanford, Cal, or UCLA in the first game of the tournament, set for a 3 p.m. start on Friday, November 25. Last year at this tournament, UCSB placed sixth, losing to UC Irvine in the fifth-place game.

• Leading Scorer
Sophomore Matt Gronow needs two more goals for 40 in what has been a brilliant 2011 season. Gronow has 20 assists and six steals to go along with his team leading 38 goals.

• Tough To Get It By Him
Junior Myles Christian leads the MPSF with 10. 52 saves per game. Christian has been a constant performer throughout the season and vocal leader of the Gauchos in the pool.

• Teamwork
UCSB is third in the MPSF with 275 team goals. Five Gauchos have double digit assists, with Gronow and junior Jesse Gillespie each having more than 20. Freshmen Eric Van de Mortel and Chase Racich have both had outstanding seasons for the Gauchos, giving coach Wolf Wigo a strong base to build on into the future.  Racich is second on the team with 26 goals.