Oct. 24, 2007
Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007
No. 9 UC Santa Barbara at No. 4 Stanford
at Avery Stadium
This Week In Water Polo
The No. 9 UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team, which split a pair of Mountain Pacific Sports Federation games last weekend at home, will continue conference action on the road this week when they visit No. 4 Stanford for a noon match-up on Saturday, Oct. 27 at Avery Stadium.
Gauchos Split Pair At Home
UC Santa Barbara returned home last week after two weeks on the road and posted a 10-5 win over MPSF foe No. 13 Pacific on Friday at Campus Pool. Senior Ross Sinclair led the Gauchos with three goals in the win while senior goalkeeper Rick Wright had 11 saves. In their second game of the weekend against No. 1 USC, the Gauchos outscored the Trojans 6-5 in the second half, but it was not enough to overcome their first half deficit as they fell, 14-10. Freshman Milos Golic led all players with four goals in the loss while Wright had seven saves. The Gauchos are now 16-9 on the season and 1-2 in MPSF games.The Gauchos are currently four wins away from their second consecutive 20-win season and if they are able to accomplish that feat, it would be a program first. After ranking eighth in the Collegiate Water Polo Association Top-20 Coaches Poll last week, the Gauchos have dropped to ninth this week after several teams in the top-10 posted upsets over the weekend causing a shuffle in the weekly poll.
Around The Conference
No. 1 USC currently leads the MPSF with its 4-0 conference record and leads the nation with a perfect 13-0 record this season. Cal is currently in second with its 2-0 record after posting an 8-7 win over UCLA last Saturday. UC Irvine is alone in third place with its 2-1 record, the Anteaters posted a 7-6 victory over Long Beach State in their only MPSF contest last weekend. Pepperdine (1-1) and UCLA (2-2) are currently tied for fourth while the Gauchos, Stanford and Long Beach are all tied for sixth with 1-2 conference marks. Pacific is the only team still winless at 0-4. Each team's regular season conference finish will determine its seed into the MPSF Tournament. The winner of the tournament will receive an automatic bid into the NCAA Championships.
Freshman Milos Golic led the Gauchos in Saturday's loss to No. 1 USC with a game-high four goals along with five assists. The Belgrade, Serbia native had a goal in Friday's game against Pacific as well and is currently amidst a five game scoring streak. In fact, of the 16 games he has played this season, Golic has scored in 14, including 11 multi-goal performances. Golic currently ranks sixth in the conference with his 2.31 goals per game average and has notched a total of 37 goals this season. In addition to being second on the team for goals scored, the utility player is third with 20 assists and has also collected 10 steals, and earned 13 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 44 goals, 28 assists, 23 steals, and 12 field blocks. The Newport, Calif. native currently averages 1.83 goals per game, ranking eighth amongst all MPSF players. Sinclair stretched his current scoring streak to 14 consecutive games with his four goals this past weekend, including a team-leading hat trick in the 10-5 win over Pacific. He also tallied three assists last week. The driver has posted 14 multiple-goal games, including seven games with a hat trick or more. He is now eighth on the UCSB career scoring list with 145 goals scored while in the blue and gold.
The View On Vincze
Sophomore Zsombor Vincze, a 2006 All-MPSF Honorable Mention, posted a hat trick in Saturday's loss to USC, it marked his ninth multiple-goal game of the season. Vincze, who tallied 30 goals during his freshman campaign, has already surpassed that mark with his 34 goals. He currently ranks third amongst the Gauchos and 14th in the MPSF with an average of 1.62 goals per game. In addition to his goals, Vincze drew six Trojan ejections on Saturday and currently leads UCSB with a total of 35 earned penalties or ejections this season.
The Wright Stuff
Senior goalkeeper Rick Wright notched 11 saves in Friday's win over Pacific along with two assists and a steal. The following day, he tallied seven saves while allowing a season-high 14 goals. Wright currently ranks second in the MPSF with an average of 10.1 saves per game and has tallied double-digit saves in seven games this season. He currently averages 7.8 goals against per game and has tallied 11 assists and 13 steals.
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 29 goals scored, including three goals this weekend - two against top-ranked USC on Saturday. Price has posted eight multi-goal games this season and he is also tied third on the team with 21 assists.
Sophomore driver Stefan Partelow, who finished the 2006 season with 18 goals, has already surpassed his freshman season output as he currently is fifth amongst the Gauchos with 26 goals scored. The Manhattan Beach, Calif. native has scored at least one goal in 14 of the Gauchos' 25 contests this season, including a career-high four goals against Redlands on Oct. 13. Despite being held scoreless last weekend, Partelow still contributed to the Gaucho offense as he assisted three of UCSB's 10 goals against Pacific. Partelow has chipped in a total of 21 assists, 10 steals, 11 field bocks, and 10 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 50-40 (.556) record at UCSB, reaching his 50th career win last Friday over Pacific. 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.
No. 4 Stanford enters this weekend coming off of a disappointing split last weekend. The Cardinal defeated non-conference opponent Occidental 17-6 on Sunday before falling 7-5 to Long Beach State. Stanford is now 9-5 overall on the season and 1-2 in MPSF games. Will Hindle-Katel, Drac Wigo and Sage Wright lead the Cardinal for scoring with 18 goals apiece this season. Goalie Sandy Hohener currently leads the team with his 9.25 saves per game average and averages 7.08 goals against. Saturday will mark the Gauchos' first meeting of the season with Stanford. The last time the two teams met was at the 2006 MPSF Tournament where the Cardinal took a 12-9 victory over UCSB in the first round.
Saturday's match-up will see a little sibling rivalry in action as head coach Wigo's brothers, sophomores Drac and Janson Wigo, both play for their brother's alma mater, Stanford. During their freshman season, the Wigo twins collectively scored seven goals in two games against their older brother's team. Janson was also accountable for the gamewinner in a 11-10 overtime victory for the Cardinal on Oct. 22, 2006.
On Sunday, Nov. 4, UCSB will host its final home game of the season against Cal before finishing the regular season on the road at UCLA (Nov. 10) and Long Beach State (Nov. 11). 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.