Nov. 20, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
No. 9 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (12-13, 1-6) vs. No. 5 Pepperdine (11-10, 3-4), 12 p.m.
at The Raleigh-Runnels Memorial Pool
This Week In Gaucho Water Polo
No. 9 UC Santa Barbara will conclude its regular season schedule at No. 5 Pepperdine on Saturday at noon. The game will be both team's last before next week's Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament, which is being hosted by USC on Nov. 27-29. The winner of the conference tournament will receive an automatic berth into the 2009 NCAA Championships.
Last Time Out
UCSB played two conference contests last weekend, hosting No. 7 UC Irvine on Saturday before traveling to No. 4 UCLA on Sunday. The Gauchos suffered 9-7 losses to both teams. The two-goal loss is the closest the Gauchos have played Bruins since a 7-6 double overtime loss in 2006.
For The Record
The Gauchos enter this week's action with a 12-13 overall record and a 1-6 MPSF mark. UCSB has not finished a season with a record below .500 since 2005, when it went 13-17 overall. The Gauchos also have not finished a season with fewer than two conference wins since 2003, when they went 1-6.
Pulse On The Poll
Despite going 0-2 last weekend, UCSB was bumped up one spot to No. 9 in this week's Collegiate Water Polo Association's Top-20 poll. The Gauchos, who spent six weeks as the sixth ranked team earlier in the season (Sept. 9 through Oct. 14), have been ranked No. 9 during four weeks this year. UCSB has finished the last three seasons as the No. 6 team in the country.
USC clinched the No. 1 seed into next week's MPSF Tournament with a 13-12 overtime win over Stanford last Saturday. Stanford and Cal, which both enter the weekend with a 6-1 conference mark, will battle it out for the No. 2 seed on Saturday. The Gauchos are currently tied seventh in the conference with Long Beach State and a win over Pepperdine would secure the No. 7 seed into the tournament.
What About The Waves?
No. 5 Pepperdine enters Saturday's game with an 11-10 overall record and a 3-4 conference mark. A win over UCSB would clinch the No. 5 seed into the MPSF Tournament. Pepperdine is currently riding a three-game win streak and defeated UC Irvine 15-14 in overtime last Sunday. Senior JP MacDonell leads the team with an average of 2.58 goals per game and Clayton Snyder is second on the team with a 1.22 average. In goal, Thomas O'Connell has tallied 7.76 saves per game in his 12.5 appearances. The Waves and Gauchos have already faced each other twice this season in non-conference competition. UCSB came out on top both times, defeating Pepperdine, 8-7, on Sept. 6 and 11-10 in overtime on Sept. 20.
Vincze In Seventh Heaven
Junior Zsombor Vincze led the Gauchos in each of their games last weekend, tallying his fourth hat trick of the season against UC Irvine before topping that performance with a season-best four goals against No. 4 UCLA to bring his weekend count to seven. Vincze has scored in his last four games played and is currently third on the team with 27 goals. He is currently averaging 1.59 goals per game, which ranks 12th among all MPSF players.
Golic Knows Goals
Junior Milos Golic continues to pace the Gauchos with his 62 goals this season and ranks second in the MPSF - behind Stanford's Drac Wigo - with a 2.58 per game average. He scored a pair in each of last weekend's contests and is currently amidst a 12-game scoring streak dating back to Oct. 10. During his streak, he has tallied 41 goals and has posted 11 multiple-goal showings. Golic is now just three goals away from becoming just the fourth player in school history to reach 200 career tallies.
Big Time Bunn
Junior Fraser Bunn continues to lead all MPSF goalkeepers with his 9.54 saves per game. The native of Melbourne, Australia has started 20 of the Gauchos 25 games and has tallied a total of 155 saves this season.
Second Quarter Slump
During the last four MPSF losses, UCSB has been tied with their opposition after the first eight minutes of play before giving up the lead in the second quarter. For the season, UCSB has outscored its opposition 75-54 in the first quarter, but has been edged 57-53 in the second and 61-42 in the third.
The Wigo Watch
A three-time Olympian and former captain of the USA Water Polo Men's National Team, Wolf Wigo is now in his fifth season as the head coach at UC Santa Barabra. During his tenure with the Gauchos, Wigo has led UCSB to a 82-69 record, including three consecutive winning seasons. The Gauchos have finished the past three seasons ranked sixth nationally and last year, UCSB finished fifth in the always-competitive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. Wigo has led three players to All-American honors including Milos Golic, who was the first UCSB first team honoree in over 20 years.