No. 8 UCSB To Face No. 6 UC Irvine, No. 7 Long Beach In Non-Conference Action
Sept. 19, 2007
Thursday, Sept. 20, 2007
No. 8 UC Santa Barbara at No. 6 UC Irvine, 7:00 pm
at UC Irvine's Anteater Pool
Saturday, Sept. 22, 2007
Long Beach Mini Tournament
No. 8 UC Santa Barbara vs. Golden West JC (Exhibition), 11:00 am
No. 8 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 7 Long Beach State, 3:30 pm
at Long Beach State's Campus Pool
Sunday, Sept. 23, 2007
No. 8 UC Santa Barbara vs. Gaucho Alumni, 12:00 pm
at UCSB's Campus Pool
This Week In Water Polo
No. 8 UC Santa Barbara (10-4) will look to snap its three-game losing skid this week as they face Mountain Pacific Sports Federation opponents No. 6 UC Irvine (3-2) and No. 7 Long Beach State (6-2) in a pair of non-conference games. The Gauchos will face the Anteaters on the road on Thursday at 7 pm before heading to the Long Beach Mini Tournament on Saturday where they will play Golden West Junior College in an exhibition game before facing host Long Beach State at 3:30 pm. UCSB will round out the weekend with its Alumni game Sunday at noon at the Gauchos' Campus Pool.
Gauchos Take Eighth At The NorCal Open
UCSB had a full slate in Northern California last weekend. The Gauchos first traveled to UC Davis on Friday where they captured a 9-6 win over the Aggies behind Ross Sinclair's hat trick. The following day the team opened the Northern California Open with a 10-4 win over Loyola Marymount. Freshman Milos Golic, playing in just his second collegiate game, posted a team-leading four goals in the victory over the Lions. Saturday's second pairing was vs. tournament host, No. 2 Cal. Against the Golden Bears, UCSB was tied 2-2 at halftime, but Cal used a strong second half to overcome the Gauchos, 10-5. On Sunday, UCSB found itself playing Pepperdine for the third time this season. Despite hat tricks from both Sinclair and Miles Price and an impressive 12 saves from Rick Wright, UCSB came up short against the Waves, 13-12. In the tournament's seventh place game, UCSB and Long Beach State remained deadlocked through the first two quarters of play. The 49ers outscored UCSB, 3-1 in the third to take the lead and ended the game with the 10-9 win. The Gauchos now stand at 10-4 on the season and have been bumped down to a No. 8 national ranking in the CWPA Top-20 Coaches' Poll released Sept. 19.
Hat Trick Happy
Sinclair, a 2006 Third Team All-American, led the Gauchos last weekend scoring 11 goals across five games. He had hat tricks vs. UC Davis, Pepperdine and Long Beach and had a pair of points against Cal. The Newport Beach, Calif. native leads UCSB with 27 goals this season and has also posted a team-high 16 assists, 12 steals and eight field blocks. Sinclair has scored in 10 of the Gauchos' 14 games this season with two or more goals in each of those contests. The senior driver ranks 10th in the MPSF with his 2.08 goals per game average and ranks 12th amongst UCSB career scoring leaders with 128 total goals scored while wearing the blue and gold.
Freshman Milos Golic made his debut with the Gauchos on Friday at UC Davis and posted his first goal of his career against the Aggies. The Belgrade, Serbia native followed up with four goals in the 10-4 win over Loyola Marymount the next day and had two goals apiece vs. Pepperdine and Long Beach State. Golic paired his nine goals with nine assists and also had four steals, four earned penalties or ejections, and four field blocks over the weekend. Currently he averages 1.8 goals per game for the Gauchos.
Sophomore driver Stefan Partelow, who finished the 2006 season with 18 goals, has already surpassed his freshman season output as he currently is second amongst the Gauchos with 20 goals scored. The Manhattan Beach, Calif. native tallied a goal in each of the first four of UCSB's contests last week, but had his nine-game scoring streak snapped in the final game of the weekend against Long Beach State. Partelow currently ranks 23rd in the conference with 1.43 goals per game and is tied for first amongst the Gauchos with eight field blocks. Partelow has also chipped in nine assists, six steals and eight earned penalties or ejections this season in addition to his .500 shooting percentage.
The Price Is Right
Junior Miles Price continues to be a solid contributor to the Gaucho offense this season. The driver chipped in five goals last weekend, including a hat trick in the narrow loss to Pepperdine. The Canyon, Calif. native, who ranks third on the team with 19 goals, is second on the team with 14 assists. Three of those helpers came in the win over Loyola Marymount on Saturday. Price has posted four multi-goal games this season including two four-point showings. Currently, Price is ranked 22nd in the MPSF with his 1.46 goals per game average.
Senior goalkeeper Rick Wright continues to shine in the cage for the Gauchos and last weekend was no exception. Wright posted double-digit saves in two games, including a weekend-high 12 blocks against No. 2 Cal on Saturday. The San Diego, Calif. native currently ranks third in the MPSF with his 10.1 saves per game. Freshman Fraser Bunn also spent time minding the net for UCSB and posted five saves in the second half against UC Davis and got the starting nod vs. Long Beach State, which he tallied six blocks against. Bunn currently averages 10.2 saves per game for UCSB.
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 44-35 (.556) record at UCSB. 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.
About The Anteaters
No. 6 UC Irvine will host UCSB for its home opener on Thursday evening. The Anteaters have posted a 3-2 record this season and placed sixth at the NorCal Open, falling to Pepperdine, 11-8 in the fifth-place game. Senior Tim Hutten led Irvine over the weekend with 16 goals and has 23 total on the season while senior goalie Matt Garcia has recorded 34 saves in five starts. The Gauchos and Anteaters developed quite the rivalry in 2006 when they played each other on five occasions. UCSB won four of the five match-ups including the last pairing during the second round of the MPSF Tournament by way of a 13-11 score.
On Saturday, UCSB will have a chance to avenge last weekend's 10-9 loss to No. 7 Long Beach State when they visit the 49ers for a non-conference match-up. Long Beach has posted a 6-2 record so far this season and went 2-2 at the NorCal Open. Reid Romassi leads the 49ers with his 1.88 goals per game average this season while senior goalkeeper Steve MacKenzie averages 5.43 saves per game and 6.71 goals against.
UCSB will attend a mini tournament at Pepperdine next Saturday, Sept. 29 before returning to Campus Pool for their home and conference opener vs. UCI the following day. UCSB opens October on the road with a game at UC San Diego on Oct. 5 and will participate in the Southern California Tournament at Irvine on Oct. 13-14. After the tournament-intensive portion of the season winds down, the Gauchos have a stretch of MPSF games, with the final three home match-ups of the season. The Gauchos will host Pacific (Oct. 19), USC (Oct. 20) and Cal (Nov. 4) at Campus Pool. This season's MPSF Tournament is hosted by Cal and will be held Nov. 23-25.