No. 10 Gauchos Host No. 7 UC Irvine in Final Home Contest of 2009
Nov. 12, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
No. 10 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (12-11, 1-4) vs. No. 7 UC Irvine (14-9, 2-3), 12 p.m.
at Campus Pool
Sunday, November 15, 2009
No. 10 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at No. 4 UCLA (18-6, 4-3), 1 p.m.
at Spieker Aquatics Center
This Week In Gaucho Water Polo
No. 10 UC Santa Barbara will host its final home contest of the season on Saturday against No. 7 UC Irvine. Prior to the noon match-up, the Gauchos will honor their five seniors: Sean Castillo, Kendell Olds, Stefan Partelow, Russell Russo and Joe Wood. On Sunday, UCSB will travel to No. 4 UCLA for a 1 p.m. pairing with the Bruins. Both of this weekend's contests are Mountain Pacific Sports Federation games.
Last Time Out
UCSB had a busy weekend at home last week. The Gauchos fell to No. 2 Cal, 7-4, in a defensive battle on Saturday before cruising to a 17-7 victory over Fresno Pacific. On Sunday, six first-quarter goals propelled UCSB to an 11-8 victory over Pacific, marking the Gauchos' first MPSF win of the season.
For The Record
The Gauchos enter this week's action with a 12-11 overall record and a 1-4 MPSF mark. After the loss to Cal on Saturday, UCSB's record dropped below .500 for a couple of hours before the victory over Fresno Pacific. It was the first time since the conclusion of the 2005 season - which the Gauchos finished with a 13-17 overall mark - that UCSB had a sub-.500 record.
Pulse On The Poll
Despite going 2-1 last weekend and not being upset, UCSB dropped to 10th in this week's Collegiate Water Polo Association's Top-20 poll. It is the lowest ranking this year for the Gauchos, who spent six weeks as the sixth ranked team earlier in the season (Sept. 9 through Oct. 14) and most recently spent three weeks at No. 9. UCSB has finished the last three seasons as the No. 6 team in the country.
With only two more weeks of conference play left, USC and Stanford lead the MPSF, both with 6-0 records. One of those two teams will take the outright lead after they face-off on Saturday in Los Angeles. The Gauchos are currently in seventh place with their 1-4 record. Regular season conference play will determine each team's seed into the MPSF Tournament. Because there are nine teams in the conference and just eight tournament seeds, the last place team in regular season play does not advance to the end of the year tournament.
The Anteaters enter Saturday's game with a 14-9 overall mark and 2-3 record in conference games. Cole Bielskis and Tom Kruip lead Irvine, averaging 1.74 and 1.70 goals per game, respectively. In goal, Matt Johnson leads the team with 6.62 saves per game. The Gauchos last faced UC Irvine on Oct. 17 in a non-conference pairing, which the Anteaters won by way of a 10-8 score. In 2008, the two teams played each other five times with two games being decided in overtime and all five being decided by two goals or less. The Gauchos went 4-1 during their 2008 series with UC Irvine.
UCLA enters the weekend with an 18-6 overall mark and a 4-3 conference record. A Bruin win on Sunday would clinch them the No. 4 seed into the MPSF Tournament. UCLA is led by current MPSF Co-Player of the Week, Scott Davidson, who averages 1.50 goals per game. Goalkeeper Chay Lapin has posted a 7.23 saves per game average this season. Sunday will be the first meeting between the two teams this season. They last met on Nov. 15, 2008 when UCLA handed UCSB an 11-4 loss at Campus Pool. If the Gauchos were to win on Sunday, it would mark their first victory over UCLA since Oct. 25, 1992, when they captured a 12-8 win.
Golic Knows Goals
Junior Milos Golic continues to pace the Gauchos with his 58 goals this season and ranks second in the MPSF - behind Stanford's Drac Wigo - with a 2.64 per game average. He posted a team-leading four goals in Sunday's victory over Pacific, including a hat trick in the first quarter alone. Golic currently has 193 career goals, ranking fourth all-time in the UCSB record books, and he is well on his way to becoming just the fourth player in school history to reach 200 career tallies.
Freshman walk-on Teddy Zhang became just the second player on the team to tally six goals in a game this season (the first was Golic) during the game against Fresno Pacific. Zhang's standout performance on Saturday led to a starting nod in Sunday's game with Pacific, where he scored the first goal of the game.
Junior Fraser Bunn currently leads all goalkeepers in the MPSF for saves per game with his average of 10.00. The native of Melbourne, Australia has started 18 of the Gauchos 23 games, but has been splitting time with freshman Myles Christian. Christian isn't far off of Bunn's average, posting 9.3 stops per game.
On The Horizon
Following this weekend's pair of games, UCSB will wrap-up its regular season schedule on Nov. 21 when the Gauchos head to No. 5 Pepperdine. It will be their last game prior to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament, which is held Thanksgiving weekend.
UCSB Athletics has a new weekly radio show called Talk'n Gauchos which airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1490 KIST. The show is broadcast live from State & A Bar and Grill, located on the corner of State Street and Anapamu Street in Santa Barbara. Fans are encouraged to attend the show for free gear and ticket giveaways or to even e-mail a question in to one of the guests and have it read live over the air. The show also airs live online via audio streaming and fans can click here to check out the entire lineup of live audio streaming online.