November 23, 2010

Seventh-Seeded Gauchos Head North for MPSF Championship

Nov. 23, 2010

• The Schedule
Friday, November 26, 2010 at MPSF Championship

UC Santa Barbara (11-10, 2-6) vs. USC (23-2, 6-2), 11:30 p.m.
at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center

Saturday, November 27, 2010 at MPSF Championship
UC Santa Barbara vs. UCLA/Pacific, 11:30 am or 3:00 pm
at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center

Sunday, November 28, 2010 at MPSF Championship
UC Santa Barbara vs. TBD
at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center

• It's Tourney Time
The seventh-seeded UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team will head to Stanford this weekend to play in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship being played at Avery Aquatic Center. The Gauchos will play No. 2 seed USC in the tournament's first round on Friday. The winner of this weekend's tournament will receive the conference's automatic berth into the NCAA Championship.

• For The Record
UCSB snapped a five-game losing skid last weekend when they closed the regular season with an 11-10 victory over Pepperdine at Campus Pool. The win pushed the Gauchos back above .500 to 11-10 on the season and improved their MPSF record to 2-6.

• Eight Is Enough
Of the Gauchos' 21 games this season, eight have been decided by just one goal. In those games, UCSB has gone 3-5. Every game that has been decided by a single goal this season has been against a MPSF team.

• A History Lesson
UCSB's best finish in the MPSF Tournament under head coach Wolf Wigo was fifth-place, in both 2006 and 2008. Last season, the Gauchos took seventh with a 20-11 win over Pacific on the final day of the tournament.

• Taking On The Trojans
USC enters this week with a 23-2 record and secured the No. 2 seed after posting a 6-2 record in conference play. The Trojans' lone losses of the season have come at the hands of Stanford and Cal and they have won eight straight games since those defeats. The two-time defending national champions have already defeated UCSB twice this season, the first time was on Oct. 3 at the SoCal Tournament when USC edged the Gauchos out, 7-6. During their second meeting with UCSB on Oct. 24, the Trojans won, 13-9. UCSB has not won a game against USC since Oct. 21, 1990.

• Hot Streaks
Senior Zsombor Vincze has put together a six-game scoring streak, posting at least one goal in every game since Oct. 24. Last Saturday, he scored two goals in the win over Pepperdine. Freshman Matt Gronow is also streaking, having posted at least a goal in each of the last five games. He also had a pair in the win over the Waves. Freshman Lazar Komadinic and senior Milos Golic are amidst three-game streaks and Golic has posted back-to-back hat tricks.

• Golic Knows Goals
Three-time All-American Milos Golic's hat trick on Saturday marked the ninth time that he has scored three or more goals in a game this season. In the 16 games that he has scored in, there has only been one occasion when he has not scored multiple goals. Earlier this year, Golic broke a 27-year old school record for career goals and his record now sits at 265 goals. The native of Belgrade, Serbia has 53 goals on the season and is second in the MPSF with an average of 2.65 per game. He has also led the team in assists (26), steals (25) and ejections earned (38).

• The Wigo File
A three-time Olympian and former captain of the USA Water Polo Men's National Team, Wolf Wigo is now in his sixth season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. During his tenure with the Gauchos, Wigo has led UCSB to a 94-82 record. During the past four seasons, Wigo has led the Gauchos to consecutive top-seven year-end national rankings. Wigo has also coached four players to All-American honors including Milos Golic, who is a three-time All-American for the Gauchos.