No. 7 Gauchos Head North to Face No. 6 Pacific, No. 2 Cal in MPSF Action

Oct. 26, 2006

The Schedule
Saturday, Oct. 28 -
No. 7 UC Santa Barbara @ No. 6 Pacific, 12 p.m.
At Chris Kjeldsen Pool

Sunday, October 29 -
No. 7 UC Santa Barbara @ No. 2 Cal, 12 p.m.
At Spieker Aquatics Complex

For The Record
Last week the UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team hosted a pair of hard-fought games at the Gauchos' Campus Pool. On Friday, October 20, UCSB battled it out with No. 9 St. Francis of New York and came away with a narrow 10-9 win. Sophomore driver Miles Price led UCSB with four goals including the game winner in the fourth quarter. Goalie Rick Wright posted 10 saves against the Terriers.

On Sunday the Gauchos faced-off with Mountain Pacific Sports Federation foe No. 4 Stanford where both teams battled to a halftime tie of 4-4 before UCSB grabbed a two-point advantage heading into the fourth quarter. Stanford made a comeback in the final frame to tie things up at 8-8 and force the game into overtime. Each team traded a pair of goals in the overtime periods extending play into a sudden victory period. Less than a minute into sudden victory, Janson Wigo sealed the win for the Cardinal at 11-10.

Against Stanford, Travis Watts, Matt Dale and Price each notched a pair of goals for UCSB while Wright posted a season-high 14 blocks for the Gauchos.

With the split, the Gaucho record stands at 15-10 and drops to 0-2 in MPSF games. UCSB's conference record is tied for seventh with UC Irvine in the MPSF standings. No. 1 USC continues to hold the top spot in conference with a perfect 4-0 record.

Movin' On Up
In this week's Collegiate Water Polo Association Top-20 National Poll, UCSB is ranked a season-high seventh which is also the highest ranking the Gauchos have received since head coach Wolf Wigo took the reigns of the program last season. Santa Barbara had been ranked ninth prior to last weekend's games.

Tigers and Bears, Oh My!
This weekend, UCSB heads to Northern California in search of its first MPSF win of the season. First up for the Gauchos is No. 6 Pacific on Saturday, Oct. 28. The Tigers are currently 14-9 overall this season and 2-1 in conference play. Pacific picked up a pair of wins last weekend against Long Beach State, 11-5 and UC Irvine, 6-5. Duje Karulioto, this week's MPSF Co-Player of the Week, leads the Tigers with 57 goals this season and is second in the conference with a 2.48 goal per game average.

Saturday will mark the first meeting between the Tigers and Gauchos this season, last time the two teams met up was at Campus Pool on November 5, 2005 where Pacific avoided a late comeback by UCSB to capture a 7-6 win.

On Sunday the Gauchos will face No. 2 Cal at the Golden Bear's Spieker Aquatics Center for a noon match-up. Cal is currently 19-3 on the season and has posted a 2-1 mark in MPSF play with the only losses of the season coming twice at the hands of USC and once to Stanford. Last weekend, the Bears, like Pacific, faced UC Irvine and Long Beach State coming away with a 15-3 win over the Anteaters and a 14-5 victory against the 49ers.

Cal junior Jeff Tyrrell was named MPSF Co-Player of the Week for his six-goal contribution to the Bears' wins. John Mann leads Cal with 50 goals on the season and is third in conference with a 2.38 goal per game average. Golden Bear goalie Mark Sheredy is tops in the conference with his 3.85 goals against average.

The last time the two teams met was Nov. 6, 2005 at Campus Pool where the Bears narrowly survived a Gaucho upset, taking a 7-6 win.

The Price Is Right
Sophomore driver Price was outstanding as he led the Gauchos with six goals last weekend posting four goals and one assist against St. Francis on Friday before tallying two more points against No. 4 Stanford on Sunday. The Canyon, Calif. native is currently tied third amongst the Gauchos for goals scored with 23 this season, which surpasses his 22 goals scored during his freshman campaign.

Wright On
Junior goalie Wright posted a season-high 14 saves against Stanford on Sunday. The San Diego, Calif. native has tallied 169 saves this season and averages 10.9 saves per game, ranking second in the MPSF, and has 9.2 goals against average.