Nation's Best to Compete at the Southern California Tournament this Weekend

Nation's Best to Compete at the Southern California Tournament this Weekend

Oct. 10, 2007

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• The Schedule
Saturday, Oct. 13, 2007
Southern California Tournament
No. 7 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 10 Loyola Marymount, 9:20 a.m.
at Corona del Mar High School

Sunday, Oct. 14, 2007
Southern California Tournament
No. 7 UC Santa Barbara vs. TBD
at Corona del Mar High School or UC Irvine's Anteater Pool

• This Week In Water Polo
Following a light week with just one game, the No. 7 UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team returns to action this week at the Southern California Tournament being hosted by UC Irvine. The tournament consists of 16 teams, 14 of which are top-20 ranked teams, and will take place at two venues. The Gauchos will open tourney action with their third contest of the season against No. 10 Loyola Marymount on Saturday at Corona del Mar High School at 9:20 a.m. Also in UCSB's bracket are No. 1 USC and Redlands, the Gauchos will play one of the two teams in their second game on Saturday.

• Gauchos Take Down UC San Diego, 13-10
The Gauchos played just one game last week: a non-conference match-up with UC San Diego The Tritons took an early 2-1 lead in the first quarter, but four goals in the second quarter put UCSB head 5-4 at halftime. Each team scored five goals in the third, but Santa Barbara outscored UCSD 3-1 in the final frame to capture their second win of the season over UC San Diego, 13-10. Freshman Milos Golic led the Gauchos with four goals in the win while sophomore Zsombor Vincze had a hat trick. Senior goalie Rick Wright had nine saves. UCSB now holds a 12-7 overall record and is 0-1 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation games. Santa Barbara moved up one spot in this week's Collegiate Water Polo Association Top-20 Coaches Poll and is now tied with UC Irvine for seventh.

• Around The Conference
No. 1 USC currently leads the MPSF with its 3-0 conference record and leads the nation with a perfect 8-0 record this season. Cal is 1-0 in MPSF games while Stanford, UCLA and UC Irvine are each 1-1. The rest of the conference is currently 0-1. The Gauchos will not return to conference play until Oct. 19 when they host Pacific, but it is likely that they will face MPSF foes at the Southern California Tournament this weekend.

• Freshman Phenom
Freshman Milos Golic extended his current scoring streak to seven consecutive games with his team-leading four goals in last Friday's game against UC San Diego. The native of Belgrade, Serbia has scored a total of 24 goals in just 10 games and is tied for fifth in the MPSF with his 2.40 goals per game average. Out of the nine games he has scored in, Golic has had eight multiple goal showings, including four games with a hat trick or more. The utility player has also handed out 13 assists, collected nine steals and earned nine penalties or ejections.

• The View On Vincze
Sophomore Zsombor Vincze, a 2006 All-MPSF Honorable Mention, posted his fourth hat trick of the season in Friday's win. The utility player, like Golic, has posted seven goals between the Gauchos' last two games and currently has a total of 26 goals on the season, just four shy of matching his 30 scored last season. The native of Szeged, Hungary is currently 14th in the MPSF with his 1.73 goals per game average. Vincze has posted 12 assists and is second on the team behind junior Ratko Paunovic with 17 earned penalties or ejections.

• Ross On A Roll
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 34 goals, 23 assists, 18 steals, and 11 field blocks. The Newport, Calif. native currently averages 1.89 goals per game, ranking 10th amongst all MPSF players. Sinclair had a pair of goals in the game against UC San Diego and is currently amidst a season-best nine game scoring streak. Even more impressive, Sinclair assisted five of the Gauchos' 13 goals on Friday. He has posted 12 multiple-goal games, including five games with a hat trick or more. The driver now ranks 12th on the UCSB career scoring list with 135 goals.

• The Wright Stuff
Senior goalkeeper Rick Wright posted nine saves in Friday's win and is currently ranked third in the MPSF for saves per game with an average of 10.2 Wright has tallied double-digit saves in five games this season and averages 8.0 goals against. Additionally, Wright has tallied seven assists and five steals 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 fifth on the team with his 21 goals scored including a pair scored Friday. The Canyon, Calif. native is also second on the team with 17 assists. Price has posted five multi-goal games this season, including two four-point showings.

• 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 fourth amongst the Gauchos with a 22 goals scored. The Manhattan Beach, Calif. native has scored at least one goal in 13 of the Gauchos' 19 contests this season and posted three assists and two steals in Friday's contest with UC San Diego. Partelow has also chipped in 15 assists, eight steals, eight field bocks, and nine earned penalties or ejections.

• 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 46-38 (.548) 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: Part 3
The first team on the slate for the Gauchos this Saturday is No. 10 Loyola Marymount, a familiar opponent this season. UCSB faced LMU just a couple of weeks ago and came out ahead with 10-7 victory on Sept. 29. The Gauchos had also defeated the Lions on Sept. 15 in the opening game of the Northern California Open by way of 10-4 score. LMU is currently 5-9 on the season. Goalie Andy Stevens averages 11.4 saves per game while Tibor Forali leads the team with 22 goals scored this season.

• Coming Attractions
Next weekend the Gauchos return to conference action when they host No. 14 Pacific on Friday, Oct. 19 and No. 1 USC on Saturday, Oct. 20. Following its two-game home stand, UCSB will travel to Stanford on Oct. 27. On Nov. 4, UCSB will host its final home game of the season against Cal before finishing up the regular season on the road. The MPSF Tournament will take place Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 23-25 at Cal. The winner of the tournament automatically qualifies for the NCAA Championships, which take place the following weekend, Dec. 1-2 at Stanford.