Nov. 14, 2007
Sunday, Nov. 18, 2007
No. 6 UC Santa Barbara at No. 7 Pepperdine, 12 p.m.
at Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool
This Week In Water Polo
After splitting a pair of Mountain Pacific Sports Federation games last week, the No. 6 UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team will finish up its regular season on the road at No. 7 Pepperdine on Sunday, Nov. 18 at noon.
Gauchos Overcome Loss At UCLA, Post Win Over Long Beach State
In their first meeting with No. 3 UCLA this season, the Gauchos suffered their biggest loss of the season, falling 14-6 to the Bruins. Sophomore Zsombor Vincze led UCSB with two goals in the loss. The Gauchos rebounded the next day and posted a 7-6 victory over Long Beach State. UCSB led 2-1 after the first quarter, but the 49ers tied the game at 4-4 heading into the final period. The Gauchos outscored Long Beach, 3-2 in the final period to capture the victory. Senior Ross Sinclair and freshman Milos Golic led UCSB with two goals apiece. Sunday's game was third of the season between the two teams, but served as the official MPSF match-up. The 49ers had captured the first two contests, winning each by just one goal.
For The Record
The Gauchos are now 18-11 on the season and 3-4 in MPSF games. UCSB is currently two wins away from their second consecutive 20-win season and if they are able to accomplish that feat, it would be a program first. The Gauchos, who were tied for seventh with Long Beach in last week's Collegiate Water Polo Association Top-20 Poll, have moved up the poll to sixth after Sunday's win.
Around The Conference
No. 1 Cal locked up the MPSF Tournament No. 1 seed last Saturday with a 10-9 win over No. 2 USC. Cal is currently 7-0 in conference games, while USC is in second with its 5-2 league mark. UCLA improved to 4-2 and if the Bruins are able to post wins over both Pepperdine and Long Beach State this weekend, they will surpass USC for the No. 2 seed into the tournament. Stanford and UC Irvine are in a tie for fourth with 4-3 records. UCSB stands alone in sixth with its 3-4 mark. Long Beach (2-5), Pepperdine (1-5) and Pacific (1-7) round out the conference standings. Each team's regular season conference finish will determine its seed into the 2007 MPSF Tournament. The winner of the tournament will receive an automatic berth into the NCAA Championships.
Standing Out Against The Best
For the fourth consecutive week, sophomore utility player Zsombor Vincze posted multiple goals against a team ranked in the nation's top-four. His streak began with a hat trick during the Oct. 20 game against then-ranked No. 1 USC and he earned MPSF Co-Player of the Week for his three goals in a 9-7 win over Stanford on Oct. 27. Against Cal, he posted his third straight hat trick and his two goals against No. 3 UCLA ended a great run for the sophomore. This season, he has posted a total of 12 multiple goal games and eight games with a hat trick or more. Currently, Vincze ranks tenth in the MPSF with his average of 1.68 goals per game. His scoring streak was ended in Long Beach, but the native of Szeged, Hungary posted two assists against the 49ers. The 2006 All-MPSF Honorable Mention is tied second amongst the Gauchos with 42 goals scored this season and also leads UCSB with 42 earned penalties or ejections.
After sitting out Saturday's game at UCLA due to a red card during the Gauchos' previous contest, freshman Milos Golic quickly returned to form at Long Beach on Sunday, tying Sinclair with two goals in the win and also tallying a pair of assists. The native of Belgrade, Serbia has scored in 17 of the 19 games he has played in this season, including 13 multiple-goal games. Golic currently ranks sixth in the conference with his 2.21 goals per game average and has notched a total of 42 goals this season. In addition to being tied second on the team for goals scored, the utility player is first with 33 assists and has also collected 14 steals and earned 15 penalties or ejections.
Senior Ross Sinclair, a 2006 Third Team All-American, continues to lead UCSB in several statistical categories. Sinclair has posted a team-leading 48 goals, 28 steals, and 13 field blocks. The Newport, Calif. native currently averages 1.71 goals per game, ranking ninth amongst all MPSF players. Sinclair posted two goals in the win over Long Beach State, including the gamewinner with 1:26 to play in the fourth quarter. He is now tied seventh, with former teammate Brian Alexander, on the UCSB career scoring list with 149 goals scored while in the blue and gold.
Manning The Cage
Senior goalkeeper Rick Wright notched eight saves in the first three quarters against UCLA on Saturday while allowing 11 goals. Wright currently ranks third in the MPSF with an average of 9.9 saves per game and has tallied double-digit saves in eight games this season. He currently averages 8.1 goals against per game and has tallied 11 assists and 13 steals. Freshman Fraser Bunn played the final quarter against the Bruins and tallied one block, he also started the game against Long Beach and posted four saves in the first quarter. In his 15 quarters played this season, Bunn has collected 33 saves. Sophomore Michael Robinson played three quarters at Long Beach and tallied six saves, one assist and allowed five goals. Robinson has notched 34 saves this season in 22 quarters in the cage.
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 31 goals scored, he tallied one against Long Beach on Sunday. 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 and junior driver Travis Watts were the only Gauchos to post goals in both of last weekend's contest. Each had one apiece against both UCLA and Long Beach. Partelow is currently fifth on the team with 29 goals this season and has also tallied 21 assists, 10 steals, 12 field bocks, and 11 earned penalties or ejections. Watts has scored 12 goals this season along with 20 assists and 14 steals.
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 52-42 (.554) record at UCSB, reaching his 50th career win on Oct. 19 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. 7 Pepperdine enters this weekend with a 24-8 overall record and a 1-5 MPSF mark. The Waves have won three of their last four games, all against non-conference opponents. Most recently Pepperdine downed UC San Diego, 22-8. Adam Hewko leads the Waves with his 2.13 goals per game, while JP MacDonnell averages 1.88. Goalie Travis Stachowski (brother of former Gaucho Aimee Stachowski) currently averages 7.11 saves per game. The Gauchos are 1-2 against the Waves this season; they defeated Pepperdine 7-6 on Sept. 8 en route to the tournament title at the season-opening Triton Invitational before dropping their very next game to the Waves on Sept. 8, 11-9. The last pairing between the two teams was on Sept. 16 at the Northern California Open where Pepperdine picked up a narrow 13-12 win. The Waves' lone conference win this season was posted over Pacific on Oct. 20.
Next week, UCSB will head to the MPSF Tournament taking place Nov. 23-25 at Cal. The winner of the tournament automatically qualifies for the NCAA Championships, which will take place the following weekend, Dec. 1-2 at Stanford.