October 4, 2007

No. 8 UCSB Heads South For Non-Conference Pairing With No. 12 UC San Diego

Oct. 4, 2007

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• The Schedule
Friday, Oct. 5, 2007
No. 8 UC Santa Barbara at No. 6 UC San Diego, 6 pm
at UC San Diego's Canyonview Aquatics Complex

• This Week In Water Polo
After hosting just one game at home last Sunday, the No. 8 UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team will once again hit the road, this time for a non-conference pairing at No. 12 UC San Diego on Friday, Oct. 5. The Gauchos will face the Tritons at 6 pm at UC San Diego's Canyonview Aquatics Complex.

• Gauchos Split A Pair, Drop Heartbreaker In Conference Opener
UCSB began competition last week with a 10-7 win over No. 10 Loyola Marymount on Saturday at the Pepperdine Mini Tournament. Tied 7-7 at the end of the third quarter, the Gauchos outscored the Lions 3-0 in the fourth for the victory. Freshmen Brian Bishop and Milos Golic led UCSB with two goals apiece in the win while senior goalie Rick Wright recorded six saves. The win broke the Gauchos' five game losing skid. On Sunday, Santa Barbara hosted its Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and home opener against No. 6 UC Irvine. At halftime, UCSB held a 6-3 lead over the Anteaters, but Irvine was able to come back and tie the game in the fourth quarter. With the score even at 8-8, UC Irvine's Brandon Johnson scored with 25 seconds left in the game to capture the 9-8 win for the Anteaters. The Gauchos were led by sophomore Zsombor Vincze, who posted four goals in the loss and Golic, who had a hat trick. Wright was impressive with 13 saves, eight of which came in the second quarter alone. UCSB now holds an 11-7 record overall and is now 0-1 in MPSF games. Of the Gauchos' last six games played, five have been decided by one goal. Santa Barbara continues to hold the No. 8 spot in the Collegiate Water Polo Association's Top-20 Coaches Poll for the third consecutive week.

• Around The Conference
No. 1 USC currently leads the MPSF with its 2-0 conference record and leads the nation with a perfect 7-0 record this season. Cal, Stanford, and UC Irvine all have 1-0 records while the remainder of the conference is 0-1 after one week of MPSF play. The Gauchos will not return to conference play until Oct. 19 when they host Pacific, but they may face some MPSF foes at the Southern California Tournament, which will be held Oct. 13-14 in Irvine.

• Freshman Phenom
Freshman Milos Golic continues to shine for the Gauchos. The native of Belgrade, Serbia scored two goals in the win over Loyola Marymount on Saturday and followed that with a hat trick against UC Irvine the next day. Golic, who missed the first two weeks of the season, has posted 20 goals already and is amidst a six-game scoring streak. He is currently ranked eighth in the MPSF with his 2.22 goals per game average and is fourth amongst the Gauchos for goals scored. Additionally, Golic has handed out 13 assists, nine steals, and has earned eight penalties or ejections.

• Zoning In On Zsombor
Sophomore Zsombor Vincze, a 2006 All-MPSF Honorable Mention, was stellar in Saturday's loss to UC Irvine. The utility player had a season-high four goals against the Anteaters on seven attempts for a .571 shooting percentage. The native of Szeged, Hungary is currently second amongst the Gauchos with 23 goals this season and is 19th in the MPSF with his 1.64 goals per game average. Vincze has posted five-multi goal games this season, including four games with a hat trick or more. Vincze has posted 12 assists and is second on the team behind junior Ratko Paunovic with 15 earned penalties or ejections.

• 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 32 goals, 18 assists, 17 steals, and 14 field blocks. The Newport, Calif. native currently averages 1.88 goals per game, ranking 13th amongst all MPSF players. Sinclair had one goal in each of last week's games and is amidst a seven game scoring streak, his longest of the season. He has posted an impressive 11 multi-goal games, including five games with a hat trick or more. The driver now ranks 12th on the UCSB career scoring list with 133 goals.

• The Wright Stuff
Senior goalkeeper Rick Wright was outstanding in the cage on Sunday, posting 13 saves against UC Irvine, including eight in the second quarter alone. The San Diego, Calif. native has tallied double-digit saves in five games this season and currently ranks second in the MPSF for saves per game with 10.1 and is averaging 7.8 goals against. Additionally, Wright has tallied seven assists and four steals this season.

• 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 third amongst the Gauchos with 22 goals scored. The Manhattan Beach, Calif. native scored a goal in Saturday's win against Loyola Marymount and has scored at least one goal in 13 of the Gauchos' 18 contests this season. Partelow has also chipped in 12 assists, six steals, eight field bocks, and nine earned penalties or ejections.

• The Price Is Right
Junior Miles Price continues to be a solid contributor to the Gaucho offense this season. The driver is currently fourth on the team with his 19 goals scored. The Canyon, Calif. native is also second on the team with 16 assists. Price has posted four multi-goal games this season, including two four-point showings.

• 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 45-38 (.542) 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.

• Triton Talk
No. 12 UC San Diego heads into this weekend following a pair of wins over Claremont and Pomona-Pitzer last weekend. The Tritons, who currently hold a 9-6 overall record, have been led by Daniel Garcia who has posted a team-high 31 goals with 14 assists. Chance Vermilyea is second on the team with 19 goals. Adam Rule leads the goalkeeping staff with 62 saves this season. UC San Diego and UCSB have faced-off once already this season at the Triton Invitational in early September. The Gauchos captured a 10-8 victory over UCSD en route to the tournament crown. Matt Dale had three goals in the win while Wright had eight saves.

• Coming Attractions
Next weekend the Gauchos will participate in the Southern California Tournament at Irvine on Oct. 13-14. The tournament will feature many of the top-20 ranked teams in the country. 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.