No. 7 UCSB To Take on Top Competition at Mountain Pacific Invitational

Mitch Young (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Mitch Young (Photo by Tony Mastres)

The Schedule
Friday, Sept. 22, 2017 at 2:15 p.m.
No. 7 UCSB (5-3) vs. No. 10 UC Irvine (5-2)
Uytengsu Aquatics Center (USC) – Los Angeles, Calif.
All-time record vs. the Anteaters: 47-102
Last meeting: Sept. 2, 2017 – UCSB def. UCI 14-12 (2OT)
Live Stats

Sept. 23-24 TBA

Mountain Pacific Invitational Tournament Central

Weekend Preview
The No. 7 UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team will compete against the top teams in the nation this weekend at the Mountain Pacific Invitational hosted by USC and LMU. The Gauchos open up competition on Friday against conference foe No. 10 UC Irvine and will play either the winner or loser of No. 2 USC vs. San Jose State depending on the outcome against the Anteaters. UCSB and UCI met in the pool earlier this season at the Triton Invitational, where the Gauchos pulled out a 14-12 victory in overtime behind a pair of goals from Boris Jovanovic. The Anteaters have won four straight while the Gauchos are coming off a 16-7 win over Air Force in their home opener.

Last Week's Results
The Gauchos traveled south last Friday night to square off against No. 4 UCLA (8-0) and got off to a quick start before the Bruins rallied in the second half to win 10-5. UCSB jumped out to a 3-0 lead before UCLA managed to get on the scoreboard and the two teams found themselves tied at half. In the second half, however, it was all Bruins as UCLA shutout UCSB 5-0 in the third to take a commanding lead. Shane Hauschild, Chad Nelson, Jacob Halle, Ivan Gvozdanovic and Jovanovic all scored one goal apiece for the Gauchos. In its home opener on Saturday afternoon, UCSB flew past the Air Force Falcons 16-7 to rebound from a loss the night before. After a slow start, the Gauchos broke things open in the second quarter and Gvozdanovic paced the squad offensively with five goals. Reed Cotterill, Cole Brosnan and Jesse Morrison all tallied hat tricks in the winning effort.

Poll Position
After dropping from No. 6 to No. 7 in the Top-20 Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) National Poll last week, the Gauchos held steady at No. 7 in week three. Not much movement at the top of the rankings either as Cal holds a one point edge on USC for the No. 1 spot while Stanford is No. 3 and UCLA is still ranked No. 4. Pacific leads the Golden Coast Conference members at No. 5 followed by Long Beach State at No. 6 and the Gauchos at No. 7. Pepperdine comes in at No. 8, UC Irvine at No. 10 and San Jose State is receiving votes.  

Offensive Leaders
After an offensive outburst over the weekend, Gvozdanovic leads UCSB with 17 goals through eight games so far this season. Jovanovic is second on the team with 12 goals, while leading the way with 51 attempts, and Hauschild is close behind with 11 goals. The freshman trio of Brosnan, Adam Lott and Chad Nelson have each scored nine goals apiece. Jovanovic leads the team with eight assists while goalkeeper Justyn Barrios is second with seven. Cotterill leads the team with six drawn exclusions in just four games played.  

Defensive Leaders
Barrios leads the Gauchos with 40 saves in seven games played and Connor Macdonald has seen a lot of action recently, tallying 17 saves in four games. Hauschild leads all Gauchos with five field blocks and Mason Mcquet has logged six steals on a defensively active team that boasts 57 steals this year.