No. 5 UCSB Opens Conference Play Vs No. 3 Pacific

Connor Moynihan (Photo by Jeff Liang)
Connor Moynihan (Photo by Jeff Liang)

The Schedule
Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019 at 12 p.m.
No. 5 UCSB vs. No. 3 Pacific
All-time record vs. the Tigers: 74-31
Last meeting: Sept. 29, 2019, No. 4 Pacific def. No. 1 UCSB 11-10 (MPSF SoCal Invitational third place match)

Live Stats

• Live Stats Available

As always, live stats for the match will be available and can also be found above or on the schedule page.

• The Gaucho Rewind: No. 5 UCSB at No. 2 UCLA

The Gauchos dropped their fourth contest in a row at Spieker Aquatics Center last Friday night. A quartet of players each scored a pair of goals, but the Gauchos ultimately fell 15-11 in their second loss to UCLA this season. UCLA used a fourth-goal second quarter to go ahead 8-2 and would extend their lead to 11-4 after the halftime break, dealing Santa Barbara its largest deficit of the season. Each of the Brosnan brothers, Halle, and Puentes had two goals apiece in the loss.

• Tangling With the Tigers

On Sunday, UCSB will take on the Tigers for the second time this season as they open Golden Coast Conference play. The first matchup between the two took place in the third place match of the MPSF SoCal Invitational on Sept. 29, which the then-No. 4 Tigers took 11-10 as the then-No. 1 Gauchos suffered their second defeat by a single goal in as many days after having lost to No. 2 UCLA in the semifinal on Sept. 28. The matchup saw a back-and-forth first half, with Pacific taking a 3-1 lead after the first quarter but UCSB fighting back in the second quarter to cut the Tigers' lead to 6-5 at the break. Jeremie Cote of the Tigers scored back-to-back goals after the half to extend the lead to 8-5, but the Gauchos would eventually tie the game up at 10-all in the fourth quarter via Leo Yuno and Cole Brosnan. However, Engin Ege Colak's game-winner ended Santa Barbara's comeback bid with 1:04 left to seal the upset win for Pacific.

• Starting on a High Note

Santa Barbara has won both of its Golden Coast Conference home openers since joining the league in 2016, with each of the victories coming against San Jose State.

• Stat Zone
The Gauchos are nearly doubling their opponents goals on a per-game average basis, with UCSB averaging 14.21 goals per game and opponents averaging 8 per match. The Gauchos have been off to hot starts in games, outscoring opponents 79-44 in the first period. The second quarter is Santa Barbara's largest margin of difference with its opponents, resulting in a +39 advantage overall. The third quarter is the smallest, but UCSB still has a +19 margin. Cole Brosnan leads the team in goals and points with 40 and 50, respectively. Ivan Gvozdanovic is the leader in steals with 21, with Mason McQuet, Nathan Puentes, and Colton Gregory all tied for second with 11.

• Record Setters

UCSB broke the record for the best start to a season in program history, previously set by the 1988 team that went 9-0 to start the season, with its win over Ottawa University of Arizona on Sept. 19 at Campus Pool. Santa Barbara also set a new record for the longest single-season winning streak after having won all 13 of its games on the season. The streak ended at 15 games, with the final win coming over No. 6 Pepperdine on Sept. 19. The previous mark was 12 in a row, set by the national championship-winning 1979 team.

• A Knack for Knocking Off the Top Dogs

The Gauchos stormed into Avery Aquatic Center on Sept. 20 and defeated then-No. 1 Stanford for UCSB's second win over a top-ranked opponent in just five days. Nathan Puentes scored a fourth-quarter hat trick to secure the 15-10 upset over the Cardinal in a match they controlled from the outset, leading 3-1 at the end of the first quarter and 6-2 at halftime.

At the Inland Empire Classic on Sept. 14-15, UCSB took down then-No. 1 USC for the first time since 1990 with a 13-9 win against the Trojans. After that match, the Gauchos rounded out the tournament with a record-tying 15-4 victory over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps that saw the team equal the best start to a season in program history with a 9-0 mark.

• Opening Their Accounts

Several natural and redshirt freshmen got off the mark on Sept. 14-15 at the Inland Empire Classic, scoring the first goals of their collegiate careers. Redshirt freshman drivers Sean Rosenberg and John Rankin earned their debut goals in the Gauchos' 25-5 drubbing of Fresno Pacific, while freshman attacker Mason Chambliss put away his first in the 22-7 win over Occidental.

• Accumulating the Accolades

Junior attacker Leo Yuno earned the Gauchos' third Golden Coast Conference Player of the Week award on Sept. 26. He was selected for the award after his monster four-goal, two-assist performance helped the Gauchos defeat their second No. 1-ranked opponent, the Stanford Cardinal, within the span of five days. The previous day before the Stanford match, Yuno played a crucial role in securing Santa Barbara's victory over then-No. 6 Pepperdine in their exhilarating 16-15 overtime match. His two goals, including the go-ahead goal with 1:47 left in the fourth quarter, and three assists came up big for the Gauchos as they battled to avoid the upset. In the Gauchos' final match of the weekend at Fresno Pacific, he recorded two goals in the team's 21-7 victory over the Sunbirds. In total, he racked up eight goals and five assists over the Gauchos' four games last week, while totaling 18 shots and tacking on a steal.

The Gauchos have earned three of the five GCC Player of the Week awards so far this season, with redshirt freshman goalkeeper Danny Roland and junior attacker Cole Brosnan taking home the award in weeks one and two, respectively.

• Preseason Poll
UCSB was predicted to finish first in this year's GCC Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Gauchos received two first place votes and 20 points overall, edging out Long Beach State and Pepperdine for the top spot. Long Beach also received two first-place votes, while Pepperdine received one. Pacific finished in a close fourth place with 18 points.

• Gauchos in the Media

Remembering UCSB's Championship Teams, Santa Barbara Independent

UC Santa Barbara Aims to Replicate Gauchos' 1979 NCAA Championship Run, Swimming World Magazine

On the Record with Wolf Wigo, UC Santa Barbara Men's Water Polo Coach, Swimming World Magazine

Drake Alum Danny Roland Finding a New Home at UCSB, Marin Independent Journal

Follow UCSB water polo all season long by following its pages on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.