Gauchos Look to Remain Perfect at Home as they Host UC San Diego on Friday
Oct. 22, 2008
Friday, Oct. 24, 2008
No. 7 UC San Diego at No. 8 UC Santa Barbara, 3 p.m.
at Campus Pool
This Week In Water Polo
Coming off of a thrilling sudden victory win over UC Irvine last Saturday, the No. 8 UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team will look to stay perfect at Campus Pool as they host No. 7 UC San Diego on Friday, Oct. 24 at 3 p.m. for a nonconference pairing. The match-up will be the third this season with the Tritons and the Gauchos' last chance this season to avenge a pair of 12-11 losses.
For The Record
UCSB carries an 11-7 overall record into this weekend's action and a 3-0 home record at Campus Pool. After holding the No. 8 ranking in last week's Collegiate Water Polo Association Top-20 Coaches Poll, the Gauchos have maintained the ranking in this week's poll.
Gauchos Prevail Over UC Irvine, Again
UCSB played UC Irvine for the fourth time this season on Saturday and, as was the case in the previous three match-ups, the contest was tight. UCSB had a powerful first half, outscoring the Anteaters 7-3 in the first 16 minutes of play, but UCI had plenty left in its tank and posted a comeback in the second half, tying the game at 10-10 at the end of regulation play. The teams each managed two goals during overtime sending the game into sudden victory overtime. A goal by Daniel Natalizio two minutes and 33 seconds into the sudden victory period sealed the 13-12 victory for UCSB, its third straight win over the Anteaters.
Sophomore utility player Milos Golic led the Gauchos for the third straight contest, tallying four goals in the victory over the Anteaters. The Belgrade, Serbia native also notched two earned penalties or ejections, one assist and one steal in the win. This season, Golic has collected 52 goals with an average of 3.06 goals per game, which currently leads the Moutain Pacific Sports Federation. He now has totaled 105 career goals and is one of only 21 Gauchos to post 100 or more career goals. Golic is ranked 19th on the list of UCSB's all-time career scoring leaders. The sophomore is amidst a 22-game scoring streak, dating back to the 2007 season. This year he has scored in all 17 contests and has had multiple goals in 14 games. Additionally, he leads the team with 14 assists and 12 steals this season.
On The Rise
Senior Daniel Natalizio notched two goals in Saturday's win, including a backhand that won the game for the Gauchos 2:33 into sudden victory overtime. Natalizio is tied for third on the team with 13 goals scored this season with 11 of those points coming during the last seven contests. Natalizio is just one goal away from doubling his career total. In addition to Natalizio, juniors Jesse Tootell and Stefan Partelow each chipped in two goals on Saturday. Tootell, who leads the team with 20 earned penalties or ejections this season, has scored nine of his 11 goals this season in the last eight contests.
Junior goalkeeper Michael Robinson tied his career-high of 14 saves in the win over UCI on Saturday, tallying five of his saves during the three overtime periods. For the season, Robinson has tallied a total of 88 saves and currently averages 9.8 saves per game. Sophomore Fraser Bunn has split time with Robinson in the cage and has averaged 9.1 saves per game. Bunn has manned the cage in both of the previous contests this season with UC San Diego, tallying nine blocks on Sept. 7 and a career-high 14 on Oct. 12.
UCSB vs. UCSD, Take 3.5
Friday's contest marks the third of the season between UCSB and UC San Diego, but will go down in the record books as the fourth. The two teams first met at the season-opening UCSD Triton Invitational where UCSD captured a 12-11 victory. The two teams were supposed to play again in the final game of the NorCal Tournament on Sept. 21, but the Tritons had to forfeit in order to make their flight home. The two teams finally met up again on Oct. 12 in the final contest of the SoCal Tournament, where UCSD once again came out on top of a 12-11 score, this time in sudden victory overtime. Friday's contest will mark the last pairing between the two teams this year. The Tritons enter this week's contest with a 14-6 overall record and are coming off of a 20-4 victory over Claremont last Friday. Steven Donohoe leads the squad with 45 goals while David Morton has posted 172 saves this season.
UCSB will hit the road next weekend to resume MPSF action at No. 3 Cal on Saturday, Nov. 1 and at No. 17 Pacific the following day. Both contests are scheduled for a noon start. Following next week's road action, the Gauchos will return home for a four-game homestand that will include their final MPSF regular season contests. As always, admission to UCSB water polo games is free.