November 20, 2007

Seventh-Seeded Gauchos Head North for 2007 MPSF Tournament

Nov. 20, 2007

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• MPSF Tournament Schedule
Friday, Nov. 23, 2007

Game 1: #1 Cal vs. #8 Long Beach State, 11 a.m.
Game 2: #2 USC vs. #7 UC Santa Barbara, 12:30 a.m.
Game 3: #3 Stanford vs. #6 Pepperdine, 2 p.m.
Game 4: #4 UCLA vs. #5 UC Irvine, 3:30 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 24, 2007
Game 5: Losers Games 1 and 4, 11 a.m.
Game 6: Losers Games 2 and 3, 12:30 a.m.
Game 7: Winners Games 1 and 4, 2 p.m.
Game 8: Winners Games 2 and 3, 3:30 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 25, 2007
Game 9 (7th): Losers Games 5 and 6, 11 a.m.
Game 10 (5th): Winners Games 5 and 6, 12:30 p.m.
Game 11 (3rd): Losers Games 7 and 8, 2 p.m.
Game 12 (1st): Winners Games 7 and 8, 4 p.m.

• This Week In Water Polo
With the regular season behind them, the UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team will head to Berkeley this week for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship Tournament being hosted by Cal at Spieker Aquatics Complex. The seventh-seeded Gauchos will open the first round of the tournament against No. 2 seed USC on Friday, Nov. 23 at 12:30 p.m. The winner of the conference tournament will earn an automatic berth into the NCAA Championships being held the following weekend, Dec. 1-2 at Stanford.

• How To Catch The Action
For MPSF Tournament ticket information contact the Cal ticket office at (800) Go Bears. MPSF Championship results will be available on Cal's men's water polo website at www.calbears.com and a link to the tournament website can also be found at www.ucsbgauchos.com on the men's water polo page.

• Gauchos Fall To Pepperdine In Regular Season Finale
A strong second half propelled MPSF foe Pepperdine to a 9-7 win over UCSB last Sunday at the Wave's Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool. The Gauchos were led by Matt Dale and Milos Golic, who each tallied a pair of goals. Santa Barbara led 3-2 after the first half, but Pepperdine scored five goals in the third quarter, three from Grant Miller, and was able to hold on for the MPSF win. The Waves and Gauchos tied for sixth in conference, but Pepperdine was granted the higher seed into this weekend's tournament due to the head-to-head victory. With the win, Pepperdine has posted a 3-1 record against the Gauchos this season; UCSB picked up its lone win over the Waves in the championship game of the season-opening UCSD Triton Invitational.

• For The Record
The Gauchos are now 18-12 on the season and 3-5 in MPSF games, matching last season's conference mark. UCSB needs to win two more games to post its second consecutive 20-win season and if the Gauchos are able to accomplish that feat, it would be a program first.

• You've Gotta Love MPSF Water Polo
This weekend's tournament is sure to be an exciting one as this season's MPSF action has been as competitive as ever. This season has been full of upsets and tightly contested games all the way through last weekend's action. With the No. 1 seed locked up last week, Cal suffered its lone conference loss of the year to rival Stanford, with the Cardinal grabbing a 10-9 sudden-victory win and the No. 3 seed into the tournament. No. 2 seed USC, which was the top squad in the nation for more than half the season, has suffered losses to UCLA and Cal. UCLA will take the No. 4 seed after dropping games to Stanford, Cal and most recently Pepperdine. UC Irvine is the fifth-seed with its 4-4 record, while Pepperdine captured the sixth-seed last Sunday. UCSB and Long Beach round out the group, but both teams have posted upsets over Stanford this year. To say that this year's tournament crown and subsequent NCAA berth could go to just about anyone, is probably not an overstatement.

• Freshman Phenom
Freshman Milos Golic led the Gauchos with two goals, two assists, two steals and one earned ejection in Sunday's loss to Pepperdine. In fact, Golic currently leads the team for assists this season with 35 and goals per game with an average of 2.20, ranking him sixth amongst all MPSF players. The native of Belgrade, Serbia is second on the team for total goals this season (44) and third for steals (16). He has scored in 18 of the 20 games he has played in this season, including 14 multiple-goal games.

• Senior Standout
Senior Ross Sinclair, a 2006 Third Team All-American, continues to lead UCSB in several statistical categories. Sinclair has posted a team-leading 49 goals, 29 steals, and 14 field blocks, tallying one of each in last weekend's match-up with the Waves. The Newport, Calif. native currently averages 1.69 goals per game, ranking 10th amongst all MPSF players. He is now seventh on the UCSB career scoring list with 150 goals and is the most prolific Gaucho scorer in the last 13 years.

• Lucky Number 13
Sophomore utility player Zsombor Vincze notched a goal, a steal, and two earned penalties or ejections on Sunday. This season, he has posted a total of 12 multiple goal games and eight games with a hat trick or more. Currently, Vincze ranks 11th in the MPSF with his average of 1.65 goals per game. The 2006 All-MPSF Honorable Mention is third amongst the Gauchos with 43 goals scored this season and also leads UCSB with 44 earned penalties or ejections.

• Manning The Cage
Senior goalkeeper Rick Wright notched 12 saves and an assist in Sunday's loss. The San Diego, Calif. native has posted nine games with double-digit saves this season and currently averages 10.0 saves per game and 8.1 goals against. In his four seasons as a Gaucho, Wright has collected 804 blocks.

• 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 32 goals scored, he tallied one against Pepperdine on Sunday along with an assist. Price has posted eight multi-goal games this season and he is also tied third on the team with Stefan Partelow for assists with 22 this year.

• 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 52-43 (.547) 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.

• Trojan Talk
No. 2 seed USC enters this weekend holding a 15-2 overall record and a 6-2 MPSF mark. The Trojans have won their last two contests with a 14-9 victory over Pacific on Nov. 11 and a 9-7 win over UC Irvine on Nov. 17. USC is led this season by Matt Sagehorn, who averages 1.53 goals per game, and Shea Buckner who has posted 1.29 goals per contest. The Trojan goalkeeping staff, which leads the MPSF with a 5.57 goals against average, is paced by Adam Shilling, the conference leader for goals against (5.59). Shilling averages 8.00 saves per game. The Gauchos have gone 0-2 against USC this season. The most recent match-up was on Oct. 20 when the Trojans picked up a 14-10 victory. Golic posted a team-leading four goals in the loss and Vincze had a hat trick.