Gauchos Take Fifth Place at 2006 MPSF Tournament

Nov. 26, 2006

IRVINE, Calif. - The No. 6 ranked UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team defeated No. 7 Pacific, 15-12 Sunday morning at UC Irvine's Anteater Pool to capture fifth place at the 2006 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament.

The Gauchos end their season with a 21-14 overall record, marking the first season since 1990 that UCSB has finished with 20 or more wins, while Pacific fell to 16-17.

UCSB opened the game with a goal less than a minute into play from Kendell Olds. Each team traded goals to fight to a 4-4 tie with 1:45 on the clock in the first before Sean Castillo tallied one to put the Gauchos ahead 5-4 heading into the second quarter.

The Gauchos were able to extend their lead in the second frame with five goals from five different players bringing the score to 10-6 at halftime. Coming out of the break, UCSB posted a three-goal run in a little over one minute before Pacific returned the favor with four unanswered goals of their own, including two six-on-five power plays. With seven seconds left in the third quarter, Miles Price fired in his second goal of the day to give UCSB a 14-10 advantage heading into the final frame.

In the first couple of minutes of the fourth quarter, each team earned a pair of ejections but neither was able to convert the man-up advantage until, with 6:38 on the clock, Coulson Lantz found the back of the net on a power play. The Tigers posted two more goals, but it was not enough as UCSB captured the 15-12 win and fifth place in the ultra-competitive conference tournament.

Travis Watts, Lantz, Price and Tamas Donauer each scored two goals apiece in the win while eleven Gauchos in all scored during the match-up. Rick Wright led the UCSB goalkeepers with 11 saves while Michael Robinson had four.

Clint McLaughlin posted a hat trick for the Tigers and Brian Domecus had 11 blocks.

                      1    2    3     4    Final
Pacific               4    2    4     2     12
UC Santa Barbara      5    5    4     1     15

UOP Goals: McLaughlin 3, Milcovich 2, Kaurloto, Hollis, Bakic, Skora, Mitchell, Turnbull, Garcia.
UCSB Goals: Travis Watts 2, Coulson Lantz 2, Miles Price 2, Tamas Donauer 2, Stefan Partelow, Kendell Olds, Sean Castillo, Ross Sinclair, Matt Dale, Zsombor Vincze, Mark Knudtsen.

UOP Goalie Saves: Domecus 11
UCSB Goalie Saves: Rick Wright 11, Michael Robinson 4.