September 27, 2007

No. 10 Loyola Marymount and No. 6 UC Irvine Next Up For the Gauchos

Sept. 27, 2007

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• The Schedule
Saturday, Sept. 29, 2007
No. 8 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 10 Loyola Marymount, 3 pm
at Pepperdine's Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool

Sunday, Sept. 30, 2007
No. 6 UC Irvine at No. 8 UC Santa Barbara, 12 pm
at UCSB's Campus Pool

• This Week In Water Polo
No. 8 UC Santa Barbara (10-6) will make the quick trip to Malibu on Saturday to face non-conference opponent No. 10 Loyola Marymount (4-6) in a neutral site game before returning home to host its home and Mountain Pacific Sports Federation opener at Campus Pool against No. 6 UC Irvine (4-3) at noon.

• Gauchos Face A Pair Of Narrow Losses
UCSB dropped a pair of heartbreakers last week as they faced UC Irvine and Long Beach State in non-conference action. On Thursday, UCSB fell to UCI, 8-7 on the road. Tim Hutten led the Anteaters with four goals while the Gauchos' own Milos Golic posted four goals also. UCSB then traveled to the Long Beach State Mini Tournament where they defeated Golden West JC in an exhibition game, 22-6. The Gauchos' second game of the tournament proved much tougher as they took on host, No. 7 Long Beach State. For the second time in just two week, the 49ers defeated the Gauchos by a single goal. During Saturday's contest, the Gauchos jumped out to a 2-1 lead in the first quarter and continued to lead 6-4 at the end of the third. Long Beach posted two goals early in the fourth to the tie the score and at the end of regulation play, the teams were tied at 7-7. A goal by Long Beach with just two seconds left in the second overtime period captured the win for the 49ers, 9-8. The Gauchos, who opened the season with an impressive 10-1 record have now fallen to 10-6 and are amidst a five game losing skid. All of the losses have been to teams ranked in the top-10 of the CWPA Coaches Poll and the last four losses have all been by a one goal margin.

• Freshman Phenom
Freshman Milos Golic made his debut with the Gauchos two weeks ago and has quickly become an impact player for UCSB. The native of Belgrade, Serbia has led the team in goals scored during three of the last six contests, including two four-goal showings: vs. LMU (Sept. 15) and vs. UC Irvine (Sept. 20). Golic is fifth on the team with 15 goals and is tied seventh in the conference with his team-leading 2.14 goals per game average. He has posted two or more goals in each of the last four contests and has also tallied 12 assists.

• The Sinclair Scoop
Senior Ross Sinclair, a 2006 Third Team All-American, continues to lead UCSB in just about every statistical category. Sinclair has posted a team-leading 30 goals, 16 assists, 15 steals and 10 field blocks. The Newport, Calif. native currently averages 2.00 goals per game, tying for ninth amongst all MPSF players. Sinclair had one goal in the loss to UC Irvine and tallied a pair against Long Beach State. He is currently amidst a season-best five-game scoring streak and has posted two or more goals in 11 of the Gauchos' contests. The driver now ranks 12th on the UCSB career scoring list with 131 goals scored while in the blue and gold.

• Sophomore Standout
Sophomore driver Stefan Partelow, who finished the 2006 season with 18 goals, has already surpassed his freshman season output as he currently is second amongst the Gauchos with 21 goals scored. The Manhattan Beach, Calif. native recently had a nine-game scoring streak snapped in the final game of the Northern California Open but he did provide a goal vs. UC Irvine and has scored in all but three contests this season. Partelow currently ranks 22nd in the conference with 1.31 goals per game. He has also chipped in 10 assists, six steals, eight field bocks and eight earned penalties or ejections this season in addition to his .577 shooting percentage.

• Zoning In On Zsombor
After sitting out the Northern California Open, sophomore Zsombor Vincze returned to action last week and tallied a goal in each of UCSB's two games. The native of Szeged, Hungary is currently tied third on the team with 19 goals and ranks 19th in the MPSF with his 1.58 goals per game. Like Partelow, Vincze also posted a nine-game scoring streak earlier this season that included five multi-goal showings and three hat tricks. In addition to his 19 goals, Vincze also has 11 assists and 12 earned penalties or ejections. He is shooting an impressive .528 this season.

• The Price Is Right
Junior Miles Price continues to be a solid contributor to the Gaucho offense this season. The driver is currently tied third on the team with Vincze with his 19 goals scored this season. The Canyon, Calif. native is also tied second on the team with Sean Castillo for assists with 14. Price has posted four multi-goal games this season, including two four-point showings.

• Goalie Gossip
Senior goalkeeper Rick Wright continues to shine in the cage for the Gauchos. Last week, Wright posted nine saves in the loss to UC Irvine along with an assists and two steals. Two days later, he had 12 saves, an assist and a steal against Long Beach State. Wright has posted double-digit saves in four games this season. The San Diego, Calif. native currently ranks third in the MPSF with his 10.2 saves per game.

• The Wigo File
Now in his third season as the head coach of the UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team is three-time Olympian and former captain of the USA Men's National Team, Wolf Wigo. Overall, Wigo has posted a 44-37 (.543) record at UCSB. In 2006, just his second year with the program, Wigo led his team to a fifth-place finish in the MPSF and an overall record of 21-14, marking the first 20-win season for UCSB since 1990. Wigo also coached three players to All-MPSF honors and Ross Sinclair became the first player he has coached to earn collegiate All-American honors.

• Taming The Lions
No. 10 Loyola Marymount enters this weekend with a 4-6 record and will face No. 12 UC San Diego and No. 5 Pepperdine before its non-conference pairing with the Gauchos on Saturday afternoon. The Lions have been led by Tibor Foral, who has posted 16 goals, and Julien Lormant, who has scored 11. Andy Stevens has seen the most time in the cage and averages 7.76 goals against. The Gauchos have faced LMU once already this year at the Northern California Open where UCSB captured a 10-4 win over the Lions. Golic led the Gauchos with four goals in the match while Wright had seven saves.

• About The Anteaters
After suffering a narrow, 8-7 loss to No. 6 UC Irvine last Thursday, UCSB will get a second crack at the Anteaters on Sunday when the Gauchos host their home opener. This week's match will mark both teams' MPSF opener. The Anteaters enter this week with a 4-3 record and will face Long Beach State before visiting the Gauchos. In addition to their narrow win over the Gauchos last week, the Anteaters dropped a game to No. 3 UCLA in sudden death overtime, 12-11. Tim Hutten leads UCI and the conference with 34 goals scored in seven games while Colin Mello has 15. Goalkeeper Matt Garcia is currently sporting a 7.14 saves per game average. In last week's contest, Golic once again was the high scorer for the Gauchos with four goals while Wright had nine saves.

• Coming Attractions
UCSB will open the month of October on the road with a game vs. non-conference opponent UC San Diego on Oct. 5 at 6 pm. The following weekend the Gauchos will participate in the Southern California Tournament at Irvine on Oct. 13-14. After the tournament-intensive portion of the season winds down, the Gauchos have a stretch of MPSF games, with the final three home match-ups of the season. The Gauchos will host Pacific (Oct. 19), USC (Oct. 20) and Cal (Nov. 4) at Campus Pool. This season's MPSF Tournament is hosted by Cal and will be held Nov. 23-25.