Fifth-Ranked Gauchos Travel to No. 9 UC San Diego, Host Alumni Game

Brian Shoemaker (By Miranda Chrislock)
Brian Shoemaker (By Miranda Chrislock)

• The Schedule
Friday, Oct. 14, 2011 at 6 p.m.
No. 5 UC Santa Barbara at No. 9 UC San Diego
at Canyonview Aquatic Center

Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011 at 12 p.m.
No. 5 UC Santa Barbara vs. Alumni
at Campus Pool
• This Week In Water Polo
Fifth-ranked UCSB will head to La Jolla on Friday to play No. 9 UC San Diego in a non-conference contest at the Triton's Canyonview Aquatic Center. The following day, the Gauchos will return home to host their annual alumni game.
• Taking On The Tritons
This is the second meeting this season between UCSB and UCSD; the teams previously played each other in the opening round of the Southern California Tournament (Oct. 1). During that contest, UCSB posted a 15-9 victory and was led by Nick Tomasello's hat trick. The Gauchos have won their last six games against the Tritons with their last loss coming on Oct. 12, 2008.
• For The Record
UCSB holds an 11-6 overall record this season and is 0-1 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation after dropping its conference opener to No. 1 Stanford, 6-5, last Saturday. The Gauchos are ranked a season-best fifth for the second consecutive week in the Collegiate Water Polo Association Top-20 Poll.
• Eric The Great
Freshman Eric Van de Mortel has led UCSB in goals during the past two contests, scoring a hat trick in the Oct. 2 win over UC Irvine and then tallying a pair in the narrow loss to Stanford last week. Van de Mortel is tied fourth on the team with 15 total goals and has scored six of those in the last three games.
• They Were Merely Freshmen
Speaking of newcomers, the Gaucho freshmen – redshirt and true – account for 97 of the team's 206 goals this season (47%). The true freshmen have scored 61 of those 97 goals. Chase Racich leads the freshmen class with 19 goals, which ties Jesse Gillespie for second on the team.
• He Comes From The Land Down Under
Sophomore Matt Gronow continues to pace the Gauchos offensively with his 31 goals scored, which already eclipses his 18 from the 2010 campaign. Gronow's 11 assists also tie Gillespie for the team lead. The Melbourne, Australia native has scored in 15 of the Gauchos' 17 games and has had eight games with multiple goals. His 1.82 goals per game average ranks 10th among MPSF players.

• Last Line Of Defense
Junior goalkeeper Myles Christian currently ranks second in the MPSF with his 10.38 saves per game average. He has started 10 games in goal and has compiled 97 saves and a 7.4 goals against average. Sophomore Jay Lovero has made seven starts and is averaging 8.4 saves per game and 7.6 goals against.
• Coming Soon
Following this week's break from conference action, UCSB will resume MPSF play at Long Beach State on Saturday, Oct. 22 and return home to host USC the following day at noon at Campus Pool.