SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – A trio of UCSB men's water polo players have garnered All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Honorable Mention accolades it was announced on Tuesday by the conference. Junior Brian Shoemaker, sophomore Matt Gronow and freshman Chase Racich each earned their first career all-league award.
This marks the first time since the 2007 season that UCSB has had as many as three players make All-MPSF teams.
Shoemaker garners the honor after scoring a career-high 23 goals this season, which was fifth among the Gauchos. He was third on the team with 17 assists and led the squad with 39 earned ejections. The junior had six multiple-goal contests this season and scored nine goals across the Gauchos' eight MPSF games.
Gronow was the Gauchos' team-leader this year with 43 goals on the season. He ranked second on the squad with 23 assists and also posted eight steals, earned 11 ejections and had five field blocks. His 1.54 goals per game average ranks 16th among league-leaders. The sophomore opened the year with a season-best eight game scoring streak and tallied at least one goal in 22 of the Gauchos' 28 contests. Gronow had 12 multiple goal games, including a season-best five goals against eventual MPSF Champion UCLA (Sept. 17).
Racich becomes the first true freshman to garner All-MPSF honors since Milos Golic earned Second Team accolades in 2007. The Santa Barbara, Calif. native scored 28 goals this year, which was third on the squad. The freshman also tallied eight assists, five steals, 10 earned ejections and seven field blocks. Racich had eight multiple-goal outings.
The Gauchos finished the season with a 16-12 overall record, marking their first winning season since 2008. The team posted a 3-5 mark in MPSF play and finished seventh in the conference tournament last weekend.
UCSB has a promising future, as it will return all but two players next season, including its entire starting lineup.