October 20, 2006

No. 9 Gauchos Hang On to Defeat No. 8 St. Francis, 10-9

Oct. 20, 2006

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The No. 9 UCSB men's water polo team earned its second home win of the year with a 10-9 victory over visiting No. 8 St. Francis College on Friday afternoon at Campus Pool. Sophomore driver Miles Price sparked the Gaucho offense with a match-high four goals. Santa Barbara improves to 15-9 while St. Francis drops to 17-2.

"We got down by three goals in the second quarter, but like the team has done before, we didn't get down and frustrated but back came," UCSB Head Coach Wolf Wigo said. "[Saint Francis] is a tough team, they were shooting really well, but in the second half, we had the home court advantage with all our fans behind us, everyone played well."

Sophomore driver Miles Prices got things going offensively for the Gauchos with the first goal of the game less than a minute into the first quarter. The Terriers responded quickly with a goal from Bogdan Petrovic, who had an open shot on UCSB junior goalie Rick Wright.

Price took his time going one-on-one with St. Francis goalie Dusko Radovanac before putting it over Radovanac's head to score his second goal of the game, putting the Gauchos up 2-1. The Terrier offense controlled the remainder of the first quarter, notching three goals -- a lob shot from Milos Vuksic, a shot that skimmed in from Nemanja Pucrarevic and a goal from Petrovic -- to put the Terriers up 4-2 heading into the second period.

St. Francis dominated the first minutes of the second quarter, scoring three goals in as many minutes to put the Gauchos down by the largest deficit of the game at 6-3. After a double ejection left each team with a man down, UCSB freshman driver Stefan Partelow scored on a fast break. Santa Barbara and junior driver Ross Sinclair capitalized on a power play to put the Gauchos within one. Superior work by Wright coupled with another goal from Price with two seconds to go kept the Terriers from scoring in the second period and tied the game at six going into the half.

St. Francis found the back of the net first in the third period when the Gaucho defense broke down and allowed Pucarevic to score. Vuksic scored with a backhand shot to put the Terriers up 8-6. The Gauchos again profited off a St. Francis kick out when Sinclair scored with 13 seconds to go in the period.

UCSB knotted the score at eight in the fourth quarter with a man advantage and a goal from freshman utility Zsombor Vincze. St. Francis answered back with a shot from downtown from Benjamin Ladanyi. Less than a minute later, the Gauchos went up 9-8 with a goal from sophomore driver Travis Watts. Petrovic scored again to put the score at nine all. Price scored his fourth and the final goal of the game with 2:13 left during another power play to give Santa Barbara the final advantage. Neither team was able to utilize a man advantage to its and a penalty awarded to UCSB and the Gauchos won 10-9. Wright had an excellent game in goal for Santa Barbara with ten saves.

"We had a little problem with our counter-attack defense and we didn't pick up our men properly, breaking down on the five-on-sixes," Wigo said.

Next up for the Gauchos is a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation conference match-up against No. 4 Stanford at 12 p.m. at Campus Pool.

Goals by period: 1-2-3-4

St. Francis: 4-2-2-1

UC Santa Barbara: 3-3-1-3

St. Francis goals: Bogdan Petrovic 4; Nemanja Pucarevic 2; Milos Vuksic 2; Botond Szalma 1

UC Santa Barbara goals: Miles Price 4; Ross Sinclair 2; Travis Watts 2; Stefan Partelow 1; Zsombor Vincze 1

UC Santa Barbara goalie saves: Rick Wright-10