Oct. 31, 2007
Sunday, Nov. 4, 2007
No. 1 Cal vs. No. 7 UC Santa Barbara
at Campus Pool (500)
This Week In Water Polo
Coming off of its 9-7 upset of No. 4 Stanford last Saturday, the No. 7 UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team will return to Campus Pool this Sunday, Nov. 4 for its last home game of the 2007 season against No. 1 Cal. Opening sprint is scheduled for noon.
Gauchos Post First Victory Over Stanford In 22 Years
UC Santa Barbara accomplished something last Saturday that the program hadn't seen since 1985: a win over Stanford. Trailing 3-1 after the first quarter, the Gauchos were able to come back and post a 9-7 win over the Cardinal. Zsombor Vincze led UCSB with a hat trick in the victory. The Gauchos are now 17-9 on the season and 2-2 in MPSF games. Santa Barbara, which suffered five one-point losses in late September, has seemed to have found its groove as the Gauchos have won six of their eight games in October. The Gauchos are currently three wins away from their second consecutive 20-win season and if they are able to accomplish that feat, it would be a program first. After ranking ninth in the Collegiate Water Polo Association Top-20 Coaches Poll last week, the Gauchos' win on Saturday helped them move up two spots to seventh.
Around The Conference
Previously undefeated USC suffered a 9-5 loss to UCLA last Sunday. With the loss, Cal now holds the top spot in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation standings with its 4-0 conference mark while USC is now in second at 4-1. UC Irvine holds onto third place with a 2-1 mark while UCLA is in fourth at 3-2. The Gauchos moved up to fifth after Saturday's win with an even 2-2 record, Stanford trails one game behind at 2-3. Pepperdine (1-3), Pacific (1-4), and Long Beach State (1-4) round out the conference standings. Each team's regular season conference finish will determine its seed into the MPSF Tournament. The winner of the tournament will receive an automatic bid into the NCAA Championships.
Vincze Named MPSF Co-Player Of The Week
Sophomore Zsombor Vincze, a 2006 All-MPSF Honorable Mention, was named the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Mikasa Co-Player of the Week it was announced Monday. Vincze led the Gauchos with a hat trick on Saturday as UCSB posted its first win in 22 years over No. 4 Stanford. Vincze shares the honor with UCLA's goalkeeper, Chay Lapin, who tallied a career-high 15 saves and allowed just five goals as the No. 3 Bruins handed previously undefeated No. 1 USC a 9-5 loss on Sunday. Vincze's hat trick against Stanford was his second in the past two weeks against a top-four school. He also posted three goals in a 14-10 loss to No. 1 USC on Oct. 20. In addition to his three goals, the native of Szeged, Hungary posted an assist, two steals, two field blocks and earned one ejection. Vincze is third amongst the Gauchos with 37 goals scored this season and ranks 12th in the MPSF with an average of 1.68 goals per game. Vincze also leads UCSB with 36 earned penalties or ejections.
Freshman Milos Golic posted a pair of goals in Saturday's win. He also chipped in three assists, one steal, one earned ejection and one field block. The native of Belgrade, Serbia is currently amidst a six-game scoring streak and has had at least one assist in each of those games. In fact, of the 17 games he has played this season, Golic has scored in 15, including 12 multi-goal performances. Golic currently ranks sixth in the conference with his 2.29 goals per game average and has notched a total of 39 goals this season. In addition to being second on the team for goals scored, the utility player is tied first with 29 assists and has also collected 12 steals, and earned 15 penalties or ejections.
Ross On A Roll
Senior Ross Sinclair, a 2006 Third Team All-American, continues to lead UCSB in just about every statistical category. Sinclair has posted a team-leading 46 goals, 29 assists, 25 steals, and 13 field blocks. The Newport, Calif. native currently averages 1.84 goals per game, ranking eighth amongst all MPSF players. Sinclair stretched his current scoring streak to 15 consecutive games with his two goals against Stanford. He also tallied two steals, one assist, one earned penalty, and three field blocks last week. The driver has posted 15 multiple-goal games, including seven games with a hat trick or more. He is now eighth on the UCSB career scoring list with 147 goals scored while in the blue and gold.
The Wright Stuff
Senior goalkeeper Rick Wright notched 10 saves in Saturday's win over Stanford while holding the Cardinal to seven goals. Wright currently ranks third in the MPSF with an average of 10.0 saves per game and has tallied double-digit saves in eight games this season. He currently averages 7.7 goals against per game and has tallied 11 assists and 13 steals.
The Price Is Right
Junior Miles Price continues to be a solid contributor to the Gaucho offense this season. The driver is currently fourth on the team with his 29 goals scored. Price has posted eight multi-goal games this season and he is also tied third on the team with 21 assists.
Sophomore driver Stefan Partelow, who finished the 2006 season with 18 goals, has already surpassed his freshman season output as he currently is fifth amongst the Gauchos with 27 goals scored and he scored one against the Cardinal last week. The Manhattan Beach, Calif. native has scored at least one goal in 15 of the Gauchos' 26 contests this season, including a career-high four goals against Redlands on Oct. 13. Partelow has chipped in a total of 21 assists, 10 steals, 11 field bocks, and 11 earned penalties or ejections.
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 51-40 (.556) record at UCSB, reaching his 50th career win on Oct. 19 over Pacific. 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.
Defending National Champion No. 1 Cal enters this weekend with 20-2 overall record and a perfect 4-0 mark in MPSF play. Last week the Bears collected a trio of wins; they opened the weekend with a 6-4 victory over Pepperdine and on Saturday posted a 10-5 win over Long Beach State. Cal rounded out the weekend with an 11-5 win against Santa Clara on Sunday. Michael Sharf leads the Bears and ranks second in the MPSF with his 3.29 goals per game. Goalkeeper Mark Sheredy is second in conference with his 5.83 goals against average and he averages 8.72 saves per game. The Gauchos last faced the Bears at Cal during the Northern California Open where Cal picked up a 10-5 win, which marked UCSB's largest margin of loss this season.
UCSB will continue its streak of tough opposition as it heads to No. 2 UCLA next Saturday, Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. The following day the Gauchos will face No. 8 Long Beach State at noon. UCSB will finish the regular season at No. 5 Pepperdine on Nov. 18 before heading to the MPSF Tournament, which will take place Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 23-25 at Cal. The winner of the tournament automatically qualifies for the NCAA Championships, which take place the following weekend, Dec. 1-2 at Stanford.