Sunday, November 25, 2012
MPSF Championships at McDonald's Swim Stadium
Closing out the 2012 season, No. 8 UC Santa Barbara (15-10) completed regular season action 1-7 to finish eighth in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation standings. The Gauchos, then-ranked seventh nationally, were edged out 12-10, in last Saturday's matchup against then-ranked No. 6 Long Beach State (22-7, 5-5).
With a fresh slate ahead, UCSB now prepares to kick off MPSF Championships at USC's McDonald's Swim Stadium against No. 1 USC (24-0, 8-0) this Friday at 10 a.m. Meeting for the second time of the year, Friday's contest will prove to be a rousing rematch for the squads. In the Gauchos' most stellar performances of the season, earning second place in the Southern California Tournament (Sept. 30), the undefeated Trojans marked the only team to knock off UCSB in a 14-5 defeat during the tournament's championship game.
UCSB juniors Evan Dellinger and Matt Gronow conclude the regular season remaining on the MPSF offensive leader board ranked 15th and 17th, tallying 42 goals and 45 goals, respectively. Separated by a narrow margin, Dellinger posts a 1.83 goals per game average; Gronow earning 1.80 goals per game.
Posting new season and career-high statistics, senior Myles Christian ranks second among MPSF goalkeepers with a 12.06 saves per game, totaling 214 saves on the season thus far.
Throughout its 25 games, UC Santa Barbara has scored a whopping 301 goals (averaging 12.04 goals per game), while allowing 217 scored against for an average of 8.68 goals against per game.
UCSB will face the Trojans on Friday in game one of the tournament, before competing Saturday through Sunday. A win over USC will place the Gauchos in the semifinal round at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday against the winner between No. 3 Stanford or No. 6 LBSU. A loss to the Trojans will spur a Saturday matchup at 10 a.m. between UCSB and the loser of the same contest.
Sunday's schedule will be determined by the outcomes of day two of the tournament.
Earning a first or second place finish in the MPSF Championships will allow the squad to vie for a national title, advancing the Gauchos into NCAA Championships (Dec. 1-2) also hosted at USC's McDonald's Swim Stadium.