Gauchos Return Home For Non-Conference Match-Up With UC Irvine

Oct. 15, 2008

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• The Schedule
Saturday, Oct. 18, 2008

No. 9 UC Irvine at No. 8 UC Santa Barbara, 12 p.m.
Gaucho Alumni vs. UC Santa Barbara, 2 p.m.
at Campus Pool

• This Week In Water Polo
No. 8 UC Santa Barbara will return to Campus Pool this Saturday for a non-conference game against No. 9 UC Irvine at noon, the fourth match-up with UCI this season. Following the pairing with the Anteaters, UCSB will host its annual Alumni Game at 2 p.m.

• For The Record
UCSB carries a 10-7 overall record into this weekend's action and a 2-0 home record at Campus Pool. The Gauchos will be looking to snap their current three-game losing skid on Saturday, the longest losing streak since Sept. 2007 when UCSB dropped five straight. After holding the No. 7 ranking in last week's Collegiate Water Polo Association Top-20 Coaches Poll, the Gauchos have dropped one spot to the No. 8 ranking in this week's poll.

• Gauchos Take Eighth At SoCal Tournament
UCSB opened last weekend's SoCal Tournament with an 11-10 win over then-ranked No. 8 UC Irvine. Seniors Daniel Natalizio and Miles Price led the team with two goals apiece in the victory that assured the Gauchos a place in the tournament's winner's bracket. Unfortunately, that would be the last win of the weekend for UCSB. The Gauchos faced No. 1 USC in their second game on Saturday and fell, 11-4. On Sunday, UCSB opened the day against then-ranked No. 4 Pepperdine and fell 12-10 with sophomore Milos Golic leading the way with four goals. In the tournament's seventh-place game the same afternoon, UCSB and UC San Diego fought through three overtime periods before the Tritons captured a 12-11 win in the second sudden victory period.

• Century Club
Sophomore utility player Milos Golic once again led the Gauchos over the weekend with nine goals scored across the four contests. He was held to one goal in each of Saturday's two games before tallying a weekend-best four against Pepperdine. In the following contest, Golic scored a team-leading hat trick, which included his 100th career goal at UCSB. This season, Golic has collected 48 goals with an average of 3.00 goals per game, which currently leads the Moutain Pacific Sports Federation and ranks sixth nationally. He now has totaled 101 career goals and is one of only 21 Gauchos to do so. Golic is now tied for 20th on the list of UCSB's all-time career scoring leaders. The sophomore is amidst a 21-game scoring streak, dating back to the 2007 season. This year he has scored in all 16 contests and has had multiple goals in 13 games. Additionally, he leads the team with 13 assists and 11 steals this season.

• Five Alive
Senior Daniel Natalizio was second on the team with five goals scored last weekend. In fact, of his 11 goals scored this season, nine have been tallied in the Gauchos' last six contests. Natalizio posted a team-leading two goals against UC Irvine, had one against USC and tallied two against UC San Diego.

• The Fantastic Four
Four Gauchos scored four goals apiece across last week's contests: Jesse Tootell, Travis Watts, Noah Smith and Miles Price. Price scored two against UC Irvine and two against Pepperdine. The senior is currently second on the team with 23 goals this season and has recorded 120 during his four-year career at UCSB, ranking him 15th among all-time Gaucho career goal leaders. Watts scored once in the contests against UC Irvine and UC San Diego and had a pair against Pepperdine. He is tied for third on the team with Noah Smith with 12 goals this year. Smith scored in both of Saturday's contests and had two goals in the narrow loss to UCSD. Tootell scored in both of Saturday's contests and had a pair of goals in the tourney closer. He is tied for sixth on the team with nine goals and leads the team with 19 earned penalties or ejections.

• No. 1 Stunna
Sophomore goalkeeper Fraser Bunn collected a career-best 14 saves in the narrow defeat to UC San Diego on Sunday. For the weekend, he had a total of 18 blocks, tallying four in the loss to USC. This season Bunn has tallied 68 saves and is currently averaging 9.1 saves per game. Junior Michael Robinson started in goal against UC Irvine and Pepperdine, tallying 12 and six saves, respectively. For the year Robinson has collected 74 saves and is averaging a 9.3 saves per game.

• Familiar Foe
Saturday's contest will mark the fourth this season against UC Irvine. After dropping the first pairing 10-9 on Sept. 20 at the NorCal Tournament, the Gauchos have won the last two contests against the Anteaters, including their MPSF game on Oct. 5. UC Irvine has posted a 5-7 overall record this season and took ninth-place at last week's SoCal Tournament. Sophomore Brandon Johnson leads the team - and ranks second in the conference behind Golic - with his average of 2.67 goals per game. Goalkeeper Matt Johnson leads the squad with his average of 5.90 saves per game.

• Welcome Back Gauchos
Saturday's Alumni Game will feature some of the best Gauchos to ever don the blue and gold. UCSB all-time career scoring leader and 2008 Hall of Fame inductee Larry Mouchawar (1980-83; 244 career goals) will make the trip back to Campus Pool. Others joining him include the likes of Peter Neushal (1979-82; 156 career goals), Nikola Ivanovic (1991-94; 151 career goals), Doug Wierenga (1991-94; 140 career goals), Pete Zamoyski (1987-90; 128 career goals) and Andrew Schoenberger (2001-04; 110 career goals).

• Coming Attractions
UCSB will remain at home next weekend for another non-conference match-up, this time with No. 7 UC San Diego, on Friday, Oct. 24 at 3 p.m. It will be the Gauchos' final chance this season to avenge their pair of 12-11 losses to the Tritons. Admission, as always, is free to all UCSB water polo home contests.