Gauchos Hit the Road for Pair of MPSF Games at UCLA and Long Beach
Nov. 7, 2007
Saturday, Nov. 10, 2007
No. 7 UC Santa Barbara at No. 3 UCLA, 1 p.m.
at Sunset Canyon Recreation Center
Sunday, Nov. 11, 2007
No. 7 UC Santa Barbara at No. 7 Long Beach State, 12 p.m.
at Long Beach's Campus Pool
This Week In Water Polo
The No. 7 UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team will hit the road this weekend for a pair of challenging Mountain Pacific Sports Federation games. On Saturday, Nov. 10, the Gauchos will visit No. 3 UCLA for a 1 p.m. pairing and the following day they will play at No. 7 Long Beach State at noon.
Gauchos Unable To Overcome No. 1 Cal
UC Santa Barbara was unable to overcome a 7-3 first half deficit against No. 1 Cal last Sunday, eventually falling to the Bears, 10-8 during the last game at Campus Pool this season. Sophomore Zsombor Vincze led UCSB in the loss with his third consecutive hat trick. The Gauchos are now 17-10 on the season and 2-3 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 five of their last seven games. 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. The Gauchos have held onto their No. 7 ranking in the CWPA Top-20 Poll for the second consecutive week, they are tied with Long Beach.
Around The Conference
Cal continues to lead the MPSF with its perfect 6-0 league record, prior to its win over UCSB, Cal picked up an 11-10 overtime win at UC Irvine on Friday. USC is currently in second with its 4-1 mark. After being defeated by UCLA two weeks ago, the Trojans took a week off but will return to action this week at Cal. UCLA and UC Irvine are currently tied for third with 3-2 records while Stanford is in fifth at 3-3. The Gauchos are in sixth at 2-3 while Sunday's opponent Long Beach State is in seventh at 2-4. Pepperdine (1-4) and Pacific (1-6) round out the conference standings. Each team's regular season conference finish will determine its seed into the 2007 MPSF Tournament. The winner of the tournament will receive an automatic bid into the NCAA Championships.
Vincze Does It Again
For the third consecutive week, sophomore utility player Vincze posted a hat trick against a team ranked in the top-four. His streak began during the Oct. 20 game against USC and he earned MPSF Co-Player of the Week last week for his three goals in the 9-7 win over Stanford. His team-leading hat trick against Cal was not just his third straight, but his 11th multiple goal game of the season. In addition to his three goals, the native of Szeged, Hungary posted four penalties or ejections and tallied a field block. The 2006 All-MPSF Honorable Mention, is tied second amongst the Gauchos with 40 goals scored this season and is 10th amongst MPSF players with an average of 1.74 goals per game. Vincze also leads UCSB with 40 earned penalties or ejections.
Freshman Milos Golic posted one goal in Sunday's loss, extending his current scoring streak to seven games. In fact, the native of Belgrade, Serbia has scored in 16 of the 18 games he has played in this season, including 12 multiple-goal games. In addition to his goal against the Bears, Golic also pitched in two assists and two steals. Golic currently ranks sixth in the conference with his 2.22 goals per game average and has notched a total of 40 goals this season. In addition to being tied for second on the team for goals scored, the utility player is first with 31 assists and has also collected 14 steals, and earned 15 penalties or ejections.
The Sinclair File
Senior Ross Sinclair, a 2006 Third Team All-American, continues to lead UCSB in several statistical categories. Sinclair has posted a team-leading 46 goals, 27 steals, and 13 field blocks. The Newport, Calif. native currently averages 1.77 goals per game, ranking ninth amongst all MPSF players. Sinclair's scoring streak, which extended to 15 straight games with a goal, was ended by Cal last week. The driver did tally two steals and an assist against the Bears. 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 six saves in Sunday's loss to the Bears while allowing ten goals. Wright currently ranks third in the MPSF with an average of 9.8 saves per game and has tallied double-digit saves in eight games this season. He currently averages 7.8 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 30 goals scored, he tallied one against Cal on Sunday. 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 and he currently is fifth amongst the Gauchos with 27 goals scored. The Manhattan Beach, Calif. native has scored at least one goal in 15 of the Gauchos' 27 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 Word On Wigo
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 51-41 (.554) 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.
This Saturday's game will mark the first of the season against No. 3 UCLA. The Bruins enter this weekend with a 17-5 overall record and a 3-2 mark in the MPSF. UCLA had a relatively light week as they faced non-conference opponent UC San Diego, which they handed a 14-6 loss last Saturday. The prior week, the Bruins handed then-ranked No. 1 USC its first loss of the season, defeating the Trojans, 9-5. Currently, UCLA is led by Scott Davidson, who is averaging 1.50 goals per game and goalie Chay Lapin, who has posted a 9.27 saves per game average. UCLA is second in the conference for both team points per game (12.83) and fewest goals allowed per game (6.18). The last time the Gauchos faced the Bruins was on Nov. 12, 2006 when they fell 7-6 in overtime at Campus Pool.
No. 7 Long Beach State enters this weekend with an overall mark of 16-10 and a 2-4 conference mark. The 49ers most recently upset then-ranked No. 5 Pepperdine last Saturday with a 7-5 win over the Waves. Long Beach is led by Jeff Greenwood, who averages 1.62 goals per game and Reid Tomassi, who averages 1.42 per game. Goalkeeper Steve MacKenzie leads the conference with 10.05 saves per game. The Gauchos are 0-2 against the 49ers this season, having dropped both previous contests by one point, including a 9-8 overtime loss on Sept. 22. The 49ers have been on a bit of a roller coaster ride this season, having upset Stanford and Pepperdine in recent weeks, but also suffering losses to Pacific and UC Davis.
UCSB will finish the regular season at No. 6 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 will take place the following weekend, Dec. 1-2 at Stanford.