November 12, 2008

UCSB to Wrap-Up 2008 Regular Season at Home This Weekend

Nov. 12, 2008

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• The Schedule
Saturday, Nov. 15, 2008
No. 2 UCLA at No. 7 UC Santa Barbara, 12 p.m.
at Campus Pool

Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008
No. 5 Pepperdine at No. 7 UC Santa Barbara, 12 p.m.
at Campus Pool

• This Week In Water Polo
Coming off a huge upset of then-ranked No. 2 Stanford on Sunday, the UCSB men's water polo team will look to keep its momentum rolling as it heads into its final weekend of regular season games. The Gauchos will host No. 2 UCLA on Saturday, Nov. 15 and No. 5 Pepperdine on Sunday, Nov. 16 in a pair of Mountain Pacific Sports Federation games. The game against the Waves will serve as UCSB's "Senior Day" when six Gaucho seniors will be honored prior to game time. Both contests are scheduled for a noon start at Campus Pool and, as always, admission is free.

• Senior Send-Off
The Gauchos will celebrate their six seniors on prior to game time on Sunday. Travis Watts, Michael Machado, Dane Lindstrom, Daniel Natalizio, Ratko Paunovic and Miles Price will all be making their final Campus Pool appearance in the blue and gold on Sunday.

• For The Record
UCSB carries a 15-8 overall record into this weekend's action and has gone 4-2 in MPSF contests putting the Gauchos in a three-way tie for third place in the conference standings with UCLA and Pepperdine. In fact, UCSB's four MPSF wins mark the most since 1993 when UCSB went 6-4 in conference play. That was also the last time the Gauchos finished the conference season with a record at or above .500, something they are guaranteed to do this season. The Gauchos will be looking to build upon their perfect home record this weekend; they have posted a 6-0 mark this season at Campus Pool. The Gauchos are currently ranked No. 7 in this week's Collegiate Water Polo Association Top-20 Coaches Poll.

• What A Week!
The Gauchos returned home last week for a pair of MPSF contests. On Saturday, UCSB hosted Long Beach State and for the fifth time in six contests, the Gauchos took their opponent into overtime. After a scoreless first overtime period, Milos Golic notched his seventh goal of the game with 31 seconds to go in the second three-minute overtime period to carry UCSB to a 13-12 win. The next day the Gauchos posted arguably the biggest upset of the 2008 men's collegiate water polo season when they defeated then-ranked No. 2 Stanford, 5-4. The Gauchos held the Cardinal - a team that averages 12 goals per game - scoreless in the fourth quarter and also displayed a powerful six-on-five defense as they allowed just one power play goal during Stanford's 10 man-up advantages. The win marked UCSB's second straight over the Cardinal after breaking a 22-year losing streak to the team last season. With the Long Beach State win, the Gauchos have now gone 5-1 in overtime contests this season.

• And The Award Goes To...
Sophomore goalkeeper Fraser Bunn earned MPSF Mikasa Co-Player of the Week honors it was announced Monday by the conference. The Melbourne, Australia native posted 10 saves in No. 7 UC Santa Barbara's 5-4 upset win over then-ranked No. 2 Stanford on Sunday at Campus Pool. Included in Bunn's 10 saves was a blocked five-meter penalty shot in the second quarter and three blocked six-on-five shots. Bunn recorded three saves in the fourth quarter, holding the Stanford offense scoreless in the final eight minutes of play. For the day, he allowed just four goals, the second fewest allowed this season by the Gauchos. This season Bunn has averaged 10.5 saves per game - ranking second amongst MPSF goalies - and has collected a team-leading 110 saves.

• Goal-ic
Sophomore utility player Milos Golic posted a career-high tying seven goals in the 13-12 overtime victory over Long Beach State on Saturday. Unfortunately, the following day against Stanford, Golic had to sit out the second half after committing two personal fouls and a five-meter penalty in the first half. Subsequently, his 26-game scoring streak, dating back to last season, was snapped. The sophomore continues to lead the conference with his 3.18 goals-per-game average. He has totaled 123 career goals, ranking 16th on the list of UCSB's all-time career scoring leaders. Additionally, he leads the team with 19 assists and 16 steals this season.

• We're Going Streaking!
With Golic's impressive scoring streak over, there are still two Gauchos that are amongst scoring streaks: junior Jesse Tootell and senior Miles Price. Tootell scored a goal in each of last week's contests and has had at least one goal in the last seven games. In fact, of Tootell's 18 goals scored this season, 16 have been scored during the last 13 contests. Price led the team with two goals in the win over Stanford and also chipped in a point against Long Beach. The senior is second on the squad with 32 goals this season and is amidst a four-game scoring streak. He currently ranks 13th on the Gaucho all-time career scoring list with 129 goals during his four-year career.

• Bruin Banter
No. 2 UCLA enters this weekend with a 14-5 overall record and a 4-2 mark in the MPSF. The Bruins are led by Krsto Sbutega who averages 2.16 goals per game and goalie Chay Lapin, who posts an average of 9.39 saves per game. Last time the two teams met was during the fifth-place contest at the 2007 MPSF Tournament when the Bruins posted a 15-8 victory over UCSB.

• Catching The Waves
Pepperdine enters the weekend with a 17-6 overall record and a 4-2 mark in the MPSF. Current MPSF Co-Player of the Week J.P. MacDonnell leads the squad with an average of 2.00 goals per game. The two teams played on Oct. 12 at the SoCal Tournament and Pepperdine came out on top, 12-10.

• Coming Attractions
Next week, UCSB will take a break from action before heading to the MPSF Tournament the weekend of Nov. 28-30 at Pepperdine. The winner of the conference tournament will earn an automatic bid into the 2008 NCAA Tournament being hosted by Stanford the weekend of Dec. 6-7.