November 22, 2006

No. 6 UC Santa Barbara Gears Up For MPSF Tournament

Nov. 22, 2006

The Schedule
Friday, Nov. 24, 2006-
MPSF Tournament
UC Santa Barbara vs. Stanford, 2:30 p.m.
At UC Irvine's Anteater Aquatics Complex

Saturday, Nov. 25, 2006-
UCSB at MPSF Tournament
Opponent TBD
At UC Irvine's Anteater Aquatics Complex

Sunday, Nov. 26, 2006-
UCSB at MPSF Tournament
Opponent TBD
At UC Irvine's Anteater Aquatics Complex

In Case You Missed It
The No. 6 UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team (19-13, 3-5 MPSF) suffered a disappointing loss to conference foe No. 9 Pepperdine last Sunday in the final home game of the season. Despite posting five-goals in the fourth quarter, the Gauchos were unable to defeat Pepperdine and fell 11-9 in the fourth pairing of the season between the two teams; UCSB held the advantage in the season's series with the Waves, 3-1. Unfortunately for Pepperdine, the upset proved too little too late as its 2-6 conference mark failed to earn them a spot in this week's Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament.

Welcome Back Gauchos
Last season, UCSB posted a 0-8 record in MPSF play and failed to make the eight-team conference tournament. Well things have certainly turned around in one year as the Gauchos completed this season with a 3-5 mark in the ultra-competitive conference and have received the fifth seed into this week's tournament, which will determine the conference champions and the team that will receive an automatic berth into the NCAA Final Four. UCSB will face-off with fourth-seed Stanford in the tournament's first round on Friday at 2:30 p.m. at UC Irvine's Anteater Aquatics Complex. For complete tournament information visit: http://www.mwater.uci.edu/2006mpsfchampionship.html

Scouting Stanford
Friday's match-up between the Gauchos and No. 4 Stanford (16-7, 5-3 MPSF) could prove to be the most exciting of the first round. Last time these two teams met was October 22 when the Gauchos took the Cardinal into sudden victory overtime before falling 11-10 at home.

The Cardinal will carry a two-game win streak into this weekend's tournament after posting wins over No. 17 Santa Clara and No. 7 Pacific last weekend. Tyler Drake leads Stanford this season with 36 goals scored and averages 1.57 goals per game. Goalkeeper Jimmy Sandman averages 8.09 saves per game and is second in the MPSF with a 4.82 goals against average.

He's Got the Wright Stuff
Junior goalie Rick Wright continues to lead the conference with his 11.05 saves per game average and has posted an impressive 232 saves this season. The San Diego, Calif. native averages 8.76 goals against and posted seven saves in last Sunday's match versus Pepperdine.

A Balanced Attack
Six Gauchos scored in last week's loss to the Waves with Travis Watts, Miles Price and Dane Lindstrom each posting two goals apiece. This season 11 UCSB players have recorded double-digit goal totals and four players rank in the top-30 for conference goal leaders. Ross Sinclair reached the 60 goal mark with one scored against the Waves and is ranked eighth in the conference with a 1.88 goal per game average. Price is tied for 11th with his 1.57 goal per game average and Zsombor Vincze and Travis Watts average 1.18 and 1.13 goals per game, respectively.

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