No. 5 Gauchos Continue GCC Play Saturday at No. 13 San Jose State

Ryan Brosnan (Photo by Jeff Liang)
Ryan Brosnan (Photo by Jeff Liang)

The Schedule
Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019 at 12 p.m.
No. 5 UCSB at No. 13 San Jose State
All-time record vs. the Spartans: 14-11
Last meeting: Oct. 5, 2018, at No. 1 UCSB 11, San Jose State 5

• The Gaucho Rewind: No. 4 UCSB vs No. 14 UC Irvine

The Gauchos extended their winning streak to three games with their 15-10 win over UC Irvine on Saturday. Ivan Gvozdanovic led the charge on senior day, putting four goals into the back of the cage on six shots, tacking on an assist and four steals in the matchup. With the win, UCSB improved to 2-1 in the Golden Coast Conference.

• Steely Spartans

Though ranked 13th in the country, San Jose State has shown an ability to hang with some of the top teams in the nation throughout the season. The Spartans have taken then-No. 8 Cal to overtime, lost by two goals at home to then-No. 4 Pacific, lost by a goal to then-No. 7 Pepperdine, and have been competitive in games all season along. The Gauchos defeated the Spartans on the opening night of the MPSF SoCal Invitational on Sept. 27 and have won their last three matches against San Jose State.

• A Look at the GCC

Pacific is the only team in the Golden Coast Conference with a perfect record through three games. Two teams share the second spot with 2-1 league records in UCSB and Pepperdine. Long Beach State and San Jose State are tied for fourth place with a 1-2 record, while UC Irvine is bottom of the conference after an 0-3 start to conference play. Long Beach State travels to Pepperdine this week, Pacific stays at home to face Irvine, and UCSB head to San Jose State to close out this weekend's slate of matches.

• Stat Zone
The Gauchos are nearly doubling their opponents' goals on a per-game average basis, with UCSB averaging 14.13 goals per game and opponents averaging 8.65 per match. The Gauchos have been off to hot starts in games, outscoring opponents 90-55 in the first period. The second quarter is Santa Barbara's largest margin of difference with its opponents, resulting in a +42 advantage overall. The third period is the smallest, but UCSB still has a +22 margin. Cole Brosnan leads the team in goals with 47 and Ivan Gvozdanovic leads in points with 65. Gvozdanovic is the leader in steals with 31, while Danny Roland is second with 14, and Nathan Puentes and Spencer Wood share the third spot with 13.

• Record Setters

UCSB broke the record for the best start to a season in program history, previously set by the 1988 team that went 9-0 to start the season, with its win over Ottawa University of Arizona on Sept. 19 at Campus Pool. Santa Barbara also set a new record for the longest single-season winning streak after having won all 13 of its games on the season. The streak ended at 15 games, with the final win coming over No. 6 Pepperdine on Sept. 19. The previous mark was 12 in a row, set by the national championship-winning 1979 team.

In addition, the Gauchos' 13-10 overtime win over Cal on Oct. 27 marked the first time since 1981 that UCSB defeated the MPSF outfit twice in a season.

• A Knack for Knocking Off the Top Dogs

The Gauchos stormed into Avery Aquatic Center on Sept. 20 and defeated then-No. 1 Stanford for UCSB's second win over a top-ranked opponent in just five days. Nathan Puentes scored a fourth-quarter hat trick to secure the 15-10 upset over the Cardinal in a match they controlled from the outset, leading 3-1 at the end of the first quarter and 6-2 at halftime.

At the Inland Empire Classic on Sept. 14-15, UCSB took down then-No. 1 USC for the first time since 1990 with a 13-9 win against the Trojans. After that match, the Gauchos rounded out the tournament with a record-tying 15-4 victory over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps that saw the team equal the best start to a season in program history with a 9-0 mark.

• Opening Their Accounts

Several natural and redshirt freshmen got off the mark on Sept. 14-15 at the Inland Empire Classic, scoring the first goals of their collegiate careers. Redshirt freshman drivers Sean Rosenberg and John Rankin earned their debut goals in the Gauchos' 25-5 drubbing of Fresno Pacific, while freshman attacker Mason Chambliss put away his first in the 22-7 win over Occidental.

• Accumulating the Accolades

The Gauchos have earned four of the nine GCC Player of the Week awards so far this season, with sophomore goalkeeper Danny Roland, junior attacker Cole Brosnan, and redshirt sophomore attacker Leo Yuno taking home the award in weeks one, two, and three, respectively, before sophomore driver Nathan Puentes brought home the award after scoring nine goals over two games in week eight.

• Preseason Poll
UCSB was predicted to finish first in this year's GCC Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Gauchos received two first place votes and 20 points overall, edging out Long Beach State and Pepperdine for the top spot. Long Beach also received two first-place votes, while Pepperdine received one. Pacific finished in a close fourth with 18 points.

• Gauchos in the Media

Remembering UCSB's Championship Teams, Santa Barbara Independent https://www.independent.com/2019/09/24/remembering-ucsbs-two-championship-teams/

UC Santa Barbara Aims to Replicate Gauchos' 1979 NCAA Championship Run, Swimming World Magazine https://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/uc-santa-barbara-aims-to-replicate-gauchos-1979-ncaa-championship-run/

On the Record with Wolf Wigo, UC Santa Barbara Men's Water Polo Coach, Swimming World Magazine https://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/on-the-record-with-wolf-wigo-uc-santa-barbara-mens-water-polo-coach/

Drake alum Danny Roland finding a new home at UCSB, Marin Independent Journal https://www.marinij.com/2019/10/09/drake-alum-danny-roland-finding-a-new-home-at-ucsb/

Remembering the Remarkable '79 UCSB Gauchos- NCAA Men's Water Polo Champs, Swimming World Magazine https://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/remembering-the-remarkable-79-ucsb-gauchos-ncaa-mens-water-polo-champs/

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