Nov. 16, 2006
Sunday, Nov. 19, 2006 -
#6 UC Santa Barbara vs. #9 Pepperdine, 12 p.m.
At UCSB's Campus Pool
On Slate This Week
The sixth-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team will host No. 9 Pepperdine in its final home game of the season at noon on Sunday, November 19 at the Gaucho's Campus Pool. Sunday's game will be the fourth pairing this season with the Waves but the first to count towards either teams' Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Record.
Last Sunday the Gauchos split a pair of matches in front of a home crowd at Campus Pool. No. 3 UCLA was up first as it paid a visit for a MPSF match-up. Each team stayed scoreless in the first quarter before fighting to a 6-6 tie at the end of the fourth quarter forcing overtime. UCLA scored with 1:16 on the clock in the first overtime period to take the game, 7-6. The match-up with the Bruins was the third overtime game of the season for the Gauchos and the second against a top-4 ranked team; UCSB took Stanford into sudden victory overtime October 22, falling 11-10.
UCSB recovered from its narrow loss against the Bruins and came back later in the afternoon and posted a 12-6 win over No. 20 Cal Baptist. Seven different Gauchos scored against the Lancers and with the split, the UCSB record now stands at 19-12 overall and 3-4 in the MPSF. The Gauchos are just one win shy of capturing their first 20-win season since 1990 when they posted an impressive 23-9 mark.
Catching The Waves
The ninth-ranked Pepperdine squad will make its first trip to Campus Pool this season, but it certainly isn't the first time these teams have faced off. UCSB first saw the Waves September 17 at the Northern California Tournament at Stanford, where the Gauchos were able to capture a convincing 13-6 win. October 1 Pepperdine put up a tougher fight in their home pool, but the Gauchos got the best of the Waves and captured their second win, 11-10. Just one week later, UCSB was able to earn yet another one-point win over Pepperdine at the Long Beach State Mini Tournament, 10-9. Leading the season series 3-0, UCSB will have to seal one more victory over the Waves to reach the goal set out at the beginning of the season by Head Coach Wolf Wigo: to win at least four MPSF games. The Waves are 12-17 overall this season and 1-6 in the MPSF.
Oh What A Difference A Year Makes
After finishing the 2005 season with a 0-8 conference mark and being left out of the eight-team MPSF tournament, the Gauchos and coach Wigo have certainly turned things around this season. With their current 3-4 conference mark, UCSB is fifth in the MPSF standings and is guaranteed a place in the conference tournament. Each team's record in conference games determines their seeding into the tournament with the winner of the tournament earning the title of MPSF Champions and receiving an automatic berth into the four-team NCAA tournament.
It's All Wright
Gaucho goalie Rick Wright posted another impressive performance with a career-high 19 saves against the Bruins on Sunday helping lead UCSB into overtime with the No. 3 team in the nation. The junior leads UCSB with 225 saves on the season and is tops in the MPSF with his 11.1 saves per game average. The San Diego, Calif. native has posted double-digit saves in 13 games this season.
Streaking For Miles
Sophomore Miles Price tied with freshman Zsombor Vincze for a team-leading four goals between last weekend's two games. Price scored two against UCLA including the point that tied the match with 1:16 left to play forcing the teams into overtime. In the next match against Cal Baptist, the driver recorded another pair of goals. Price is tied second on the team with 34 goals this season and is tied tenth in the MPSF with a 1.55 goal per game average. The Canyon, Calif. native is currently riding a streak of eight consecutive games with a goal, six of which have been multi-goal games.
On the Horizon
With Sunday's match marking the last of the regular season for the Gauchos, UCSB will have to wait to see how the rest of the weekend's conference match-ups play out before receiving its seed into the 2006 MPSF tournament, which will be played November 24-26 at UC Irvine's Anteater Aquatics Complex.