September 27, 2006

No. 9 UC Santa Barbara To Face No. 5 UC San Diego and No. 11 UC Irvine In Home Opening Weekend

Sept. 27, 2006

The Schedule
Friday, September 29 -
#9 UC Santa Barbara vs. #5 UC San Diego, 4:00 p.m.
at UCSB's Campus Pool

Saturday, September 30 -
#9 UC Santa Barbara vs. #11 UC Irvine, 12:00 p.m.
at UCSB's Campus Pool

Sunday, October 1 -
#9 UC Santa Barbara at #13 Pepperdine, 1:00 p.m.

The Gaucho Record
The No. 9 UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team has posted a 10-3 record so far this season and most recently competed at the Northern California Invitational in Stanford, Calif. on Sept. 16-17. The Gauchos dropped their first game of the tournament to Loyola Marymount. 11-8, marking their second loss to the Lions this season. UCSB came back and collected three consecutive wins as the Gauchos defeated Santa Clara, 16-8 and Mountain Pacific Sports Federation foe Pepperdine, 13-6 before posting a 14-11 win over Navy in the tournament's ninth place game.

This Week
After playing thirteen straight games on the road, UCSB will finally open at home against non-conference opponent No. 5 UC San Diego on Friday at 4 p.m. The Tritons are currently 12-2 on the season and most recently defeated LMU last Friday in a tight 8-7 decision. The Gauchos faced UCSD at the Triton's season opening tournament earlier this month; the Gauchos fell to UCSD 9-7 on September 2.

On Saturday, UCSB will continue its two-game home stand with the second match-up of the season against No. 11 UC Irvine, which is 4-6 so far on the season. Though both teams are members of the MPSF, Saturday's match-up will not count towards the team's conference record. Last time the Gauchos saw the Anteaters was also at the Triton Invitational. UCSB defeated UCI 8-7 in the Gauchos' only overtime game so far this season on September 3.

The Gauchos will make a short trip down Highway 101 to visit No. 13 Pepperdine on Sunday for a 1 p.m. game versus the Waves. Pepperdine is currently 4-5 on the season and placed 12th at the NorCal Invitational. The Gauchos were partially responsible for the Waves' finish as they defeated them 13-6 at the tournament. Like Saturday's game versus UC Irvine, Sunday's game will not count toward the Gaucho's MPSF record.

Sharing The Wealth
During the Northern California Tournament several Gauchos contributed heavily to the UCSB offense. Junior Matt Dale had a team-leading eight goals on the weekend including hat tricks against both Santa Clara and Pepperdine. Dale ranks third for UCSB with 15 goals scored this season.

Three Gauchos tallied seven goals each on the weekend: Ross Sinclair, Travis Watts and Tamas Donauer. Sinclair, who continues to lead UCSB with 33 goals and 20 assists this season, was the only Gaucho to score in all four of the games in NorCal. Sinclair had a weekend-high hat trick against Santa Clara on Saturday and also contributed two points in the ninth place game versus Navy. Sinclair has tallied goals in all but one game so far this season and is fourth in the MPSF averaging 2.54 goals per game.

Watts had the most goals in a single game for UCSB during the tournament as he found the back of the cage five times against Navy. Watts is currently second on the team for goals and points having tallied 16 goals and 16 assists on the season.

Rounding out the seven-goal club for the Gauchos was freshman Donauer who made his debut in the blue and gold cap at the tournament. Donauer made an immediate impact adding a pair of goals in the first two games of the weekend followed by a hat trick against Pepperdine.

Last Line of Defense
Junior Rick Wright continues to lead all Gaucho goalies having posted 75 saves on the season and an average of 9.4 saves per game with a 7.5 goals against average. Wright had a season-high 12 saves against LMU in the NorCal tourney opener.