UCSB Visits No. 4 UCLA, Hosts Top-Ranked USC in Home Opener

UCSB Visits No. 4 UCLA, Hosts Top-Ranked USC in Home Opener

Oct. 19, 2005

The Schedule
Saturday, October 22, 2005-1:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UCLA Bruins
At UCLA's Sunset Canyon Recreation Center
Sunday, October 23, 2005-1:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. USC Trojans
At UCSB's Campus Pool

*Statistics for the October 14 match against St. Francis N.Y. were unavailable at the time of this release--the records are correct, but the individual statistics may not be.*

The Gaucho Record
No. 14 UC Santa Barbara enters the weekend sporting a record of 9-10 overall, 0-1 in the MPSF. Although the Gauchos are coming a week that resulted in a record of 2-3, UCSB is carrying momentum after sweeping the final day at the NorCal Tournament in Berkeley, Calif. The Gauchos closed the tournament by knocking off UC Santa Cruz 10-4 and then going on to edge Santa Clara 9-7. Before UCSB finished strong, it had dropped its previous five matches.

Tough Weekend Ahead
This weekend could prove to be the toughest the Gauchos will face this season. UCSB will have to take to the water against two of the strongest teams in the MPSF. On Saturday UCSB will visit UCLA, a team that defeated the Gauchos 8-3 last week at the NorCal Tournament. UCSB will then take on USC in its home opener on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Not only do UCLA and USC prove worthy in the MPSF, they also hold two of the top-five spots in the Men's National Collegiate Water Polo Top 20 Poll, USC at No. 1 and UCLA holding No. 4.

Scouting UCLA
Fourth-ranked UCLA (13-4, 1-0) is coming off a fourth-place finish at last week's NorCal Tournament. The Bruins are undefeated at home this season, posting a 3-0 record. With 32 goals, senior David Pietsch currently leads UCLA and is ninth in the conference. Goalkeeper Will Didinger's 5.19 goals against average is third in the MPSF. The last time that UCSB defeated UCLA was 13 years ago in the 1992 49er Invitational, a span of 25 matches.

The Trojan Army
No. 1 USC (13-1) took the championship at the NorCal Tournament last week by defeating host UC Berkeley 9-8. USC is currently riding a six-game win streak. Senior driver and current MPSF Mikasa Player of the Week Juraj Zatovic leads the USC offense by tallying 37 goals on the season. Juan Delgadillo is second on the Trojans with 27. Don Ricci and Adam Shilling share the top goalkeeping spot on the Trojan squad. Each have 44 saves in seven matches played.

The Price is Right
Freshman driver Miles Price had a stellar NorCal Tournament, posting five scores in the four matches played. The Canyon, Calif. native led the Gaucho offense in the match against UC Davis and against Santa Clara by netting two goals in each. Price also managed to find the cage once against UC Santa Cruz. Entering the NorCal Tournament, Price had only tallied five goals in 15 matches; he matched that feat in four over the weekend. Driver Ramiro Saldain also posted good numbers at the NorCal Tournament. The senior from Simi Valley, Calif. was the only Gaucho to find the back of the net in all four matches over the weekend. With the four scores, Saldain has now tallied nine goals on the season.