UCSB Opens Conference Play at Long Beach State
Oct. 22, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009, 12 p.m.
No. 9 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (9-7, 0-0) vs. No. 8 Long Beach State (6-8, 0-3)
at Long Beach State Campus Pool
Getting Down To Business
Though the UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team has been competing since early September, the Gauchos are just now beginning their Mountain Pacific Sports Federation schedule this Saturday, Oct. 24 when they head down to No. 8 Long Beach State for a noon match-up. It will be UCSB's lone contest of the week.
For The Record
The 2009 Gauchos enter this weekend with an overall mark of 9-7. The Gauchos played two non-conference road games last week and came away with mixed results. After defeating UC San Diego, 9-7, last Friday, the Gauchos let go of a fourth-quarter lead against UC Irvine, falling 10-8 to the Anteaters. UCSB has lost four of its last five games.
A Look At Long Beach State
Long Beach State enters this Saturday's contest with a 6-8 record and has already fallen to 0-3 in MPSF games. Last week, the 49ers played UC Irvine and USC, losing both games,9-8, and 9-4, respectively. Jeff Greenwood leads the team with 25 goals on the year. In the goal, Derek Wiebe-Bailey has started every game. He is averaging 8.42 saves per game, good for third in the MPSF.
Gauchos vs. 49ers
UCSB has faced Long Beach State once already this season at the UCI Invitational earlier this month. The Gauchos fell 10-9 in the game. In 2008, the teams met twice with UCSB won both games in overtime. The teams' last 2008 pairing was in the second round of the MPSF Tournament when the Gauchos pulled off a 13-12 sudden victory overtime win.
While UCSB is just kicking off its conference schedule this week, every other MPSF team has already played at least one game. Currently USC (4-0), Stanford (2-0) and UC Irvine (1-0) are undefeated in league play. Cal has posted an even 1-1 record and Pepperdine sits in fifth with a 1-2 mark. Pacific (0-1), UCLA (0-2) and Long Beach State (0-3) are all still winless.
Against the MPSF
While the Gauchos have yet to play an official conference game, they have already played six non-conference games against MPSF opponents and have posted a 1-5 record in these games. Two of the losses came against top-ranked USC. The lone win was over Pepperdine (Sept. 6).
Junior Zsombor Vincze scored goals in each of last weekend's games and his goal at UC Irvine marked the 100th of his career at UCSB. He becomes just the 22nd UCSB player to tally 100 career goals. This season, Vincze is averaging 1.50 goals per game, which puts him in a four-way tie for 15th in the conference. Vincze is currently amidst a four-game scoring streak.
Leading The Charge
Junior Milos Golic continues to lead the Gauchos with 36 goals scored this season and he ranks third in the MPSF with an average of 2.25 goals per game behind Stanford's Drac Wigo (2.69) and Pepperdine's JP MacDonell (2.31). Against UC Irvine, he tallied a season-high five goals. In addition to leading the team for goals, he is tied first with Sean Castillo with his seven assists and is third with 22 earned penalties or ejections. Golic is currently just one goal away from tying Greg Boyer's (1976-79) 172, which ranks fourth on the UCSB all-time career goals list.
Sophomore two-meters Noah Smith is currently second among the Gauchos with 24 goals this season and he leads the team with 29 earned penalties or ejections. His 1.50 goals per game average is tied 15th in the MPSF. Smith had two goals in last Friday's victory over UC San Diego and he added a goal against UC Irvine the next day. The Santa Maria, Calif. native has already surpassed his 21 goals scored in 2008 and he has had eight multiple-goal showings this season.
Junior Fraser Bunn currently leads all goalkeepers in the MPSF for saves per game with his average of 9.30. The native of Melbourne, Australia has started 13 of the Gauchos' 16 games and has posted a total of 107 saves. Freshman goalkeeper Myles Christian got his third start of the season against UCI on Saturday and tallied nine saves. He is also averaging 9.3 saves per game.
Rank and Order
After five weeks as the No. 6 team in the nation, UCSB dropped to No. 8 last week in the Collegiate Water Polo Association's Top-20 poll and, after the loss at UC Irvine, the Gauchos are now ranked a season-low ninth. UCSB has ended the last three seasons as the nations' No. 6 team.
The Wigo Watch
A three-time Olympian and former captain of the USA Water Polo Men's National Team, Wolf Wigo is now in his fifth season as the head coach at UC Santa Barabra. During his tenure with the Gauchos, Wigo has led UCSB to a 79-63 record, including three consecutive winning seasons. The Gauchos have finished the past three seasons ranked sixth nationally and last year, UCSB finished fifth in the always-competitive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. Wigo has led three players to All-American honors including Milos Golic, who was the first UCSB first team honoree in over 20 years.
Home Sweet Home
The Gauchos will return to Campus Pool next Thursday, Oct. 29 to host top-ranked USC in a 4 p.m. conference match-up. Admission at the historic venue, is free.
Get Your Basketball Tickets Now!
Men's and women's basketball season tickets are now available, giving fans an opportunity to catch the Gauchos all season long.
Season tickets are only $125 for men's basketball and $100 for women's basketball (35% lower than last year). Similar to the successful men's soccer family plan, a new Family Plan season ticket is now available for both men's and women's basketball. Family plans, which include five season tickets (two adults and three youth season tickets), are $300 for men's basketball, $225 for women's basketball or get the combo plan (both men's and women's) for just $400. That's just $2.66 per game! UCSB faculty/staff will also receive 50% off pricing on all season tickets.
And, purchase tickets before Nov. 1 to receive a complimentary Olé bobblehead doll! Click here to learn more about season ticket packages or to buy today!