• Five Gauchos Earn All-GCC Recognition
UC Santa Barbara landed five student-athletes on the various 2022 All-Golden Coast Conference teams, led by First Team selection and the team's leading goalscorer Sam Nangle. Fellow center Dash McFarland was named to the Second Team, while seniors Ryan Brosnan and Danny Roland earned Honorable Mentions and Luke Redoutey was named a GCC All-Freshman.
• Gauchos in the GCC Tournament
UCSB carries the No. 3 seed into its fifth GCC Tournament on Friday, when it opens up in the quarterfinals against No. 6 seed San Jose State at 7:00 p.m. at Campus Pool. In what will be the final year of the GCC Tournament, the Gauchos are hosting for the first time. They own a 4-5 record since the tournament's inception in 2016, having reached the semis the last two times. Last year, UCSB also owned the No. 3 seed when it defeated host No. 6 UC Irvine 17-7 in the first round. The Gauchos season would come to an end in an 11-9 semifinal loss to No. 2 seed Pacific 11-9 the following day.
The Gauchos have already beaten the Spartans two times this season, defeating them 10-9 on Sept. 10 and 14-8 on Oct. 29. Both wins came on the road. Sam Nangle led the way with four goals and two assists in the wins and Danny Roland averaged 8.5 saves per game. With another win on Friday night, UCSB will advance to face No. 2 seed Long Beach State on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
• Seniors Lead UCSB to Thrilling Overtime Upset over No. 5 Pacific
Santa Barbara played some of its most competitive and inspiring water polo of the season in a signature win on Nov. 5, never trailing by a single goal in a 14-13 overtime win over then-No. 5 Pacific. UCSB's seniors accounted for 11 of the team's 14 goals, led by senior center Sam Nangle's season-high five. Nangle also scored the game-winning goal in overtime and finished with a game-high three blocks on his way to earning GCC Player of the Week Honors. The Tigers were the highest ranked opponent the Gauchos have defeated this season by three spots, moving them into a three-way tie for first place in the conference standings heading into this Saturday's regular season finale.
• Nangle Leading the Way
As the focal point of the Gaucho offense all year long, senior center Sam Nangle is the team's lone representative on the All-GCC First Team. Battling inside with an imposing 6-foot-4, 255-pound frame, the Sydney, Australia native is UCSB's leading goalscorer with 37 goals, four hat tricks, and a team-high 45 drawn exclusionsthis season. He has also been a handful on the defensive end, where he paces the GCC with 13 field blocks. Following his second five-goal performance against then-No. 5 Pacific on Nov. 5 – when he scored the game-winner in overtime – he became the second Gaucho to earn GCC Player of the Week honors in 2022.
• McFarland On Fire
All-GCC Second Teamer Dash McFarland has been Nangle's counterpart at center, putting away the second-most goals (33) on the team this year. The sophomore also sits just behind Nangle for the team-lead in drawn exclusions with 43. McFarland enters the GCC Tournament with a goal in seven straight games, including three straight with two. Earlier in the year, he tore defenses up recording four hat tricks over a six-game span, totaling 14 goals over that span.
• Brosnan Does It All
With the ability to laser it in from the outside or set his teammates up for success, senior driver Ryan Brosnan has contributed in a lot of different ways for the Gauchos in 2022. He owns the team's highest point total with 55 toal goal contributions, having scored the third-most goals (28) on the team and leading the way with 27 assists, resulting in an All-GCC Honorable Mention. The 27 helpers are tied for sixth in the GCC heading into postseason play. He has also tallied six drawn exclusions and six steals.
• Defending the Net
The Gauchos were in contention for the conference's top seed heading into the final weekend of regular season competition, and senior goalkeeper Danny Roland was a huge reason for that. Prior to the regular season finale at Pepperdine, UCSB's other All-GCC Honorable Mention posted 12 or more saves in six straight games. He currently has a 455 saves in his career, putting him at No. 8 all-time in the Gaucho record book. Over his last seven outings, he has recorded a season-high 15 saves on two occasions, in a 9-6 win over No. 12 Loyola Marymount on Oct. 8 and the 11-6 win over No. 11 UCI on Oct. 22. Roland also recorded season-best save percentages of .833 and .714 in those games, respectively, as the Gauchos allowed a season-low six goals both times.
• Redoutey Named All-Freshman
Defender/utility Luke Redoutey has given the Gauchos some much-welcomed production, resulting in a GCC All-Freshman Team selection. The former Mater Dei High School standout has chipped in offensively by scoring 12 times and dishing out five assists, but he has been especially good on the defensive end. He is one of four Gauchos to record double-digit steals (10) this season and ranks second in the conference with 12 field blocks.
• Mason Chambliss Named GCC Player of the Week
Last Wednesday, senior attacker Mason Chambliss earned the first GCC Player of the Week honor of the season for the Gauchos. The Danville, Calif. native led UCSB to two wins in three tries against top-13 ranked teams from Sept. 10-13, as the Gauchos claimed road wins of 10-9 over No. 10 San Jose State and 12-8 over No. 13 UC San Diego.
Chambliss paced UCSB with five goals to go along with two assists for the week. Against No. 4 Stanford on Sept. 11, he recorded his first hat trick of the season, accounting for nearly half of the Gauchos' seven goals. In the win over the Tritons, he scored twice and tallied two assists.
• Collegiate Water Polo National Rankings (Week 11 - November 16)
5 UC Davis
6 Long Beach State
10 UC Santa Barbara
11 UC San Diego
12 Loyola Marymount
13 UC Irvine
14 San Jose State
16 Santa Clara
17 California Baptist
18 St. Francis College Brooklyn
19-T George Washington
• Final Year for the Golden Coast Conference
UCSB was predicted to finish third in this year's GCC Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Gauchos received one first place vote and 17 points overall. They were slightly edged out by Long Beach State (20) which had two first place votes. Pacific (23) was picked to finish first.
Head Coach Wolf Wigo's program is also ranked eighth in the preseason Collegiate Water Polo Association National Coaches' Poll, finishing with 65 points. All six teams within the GCC are ranked in the top-12 of the national preseason poll.
This will be the final season of men's water polo within the Golden Coast Conference.
• Back in Action: Season Preview
No. 8 UC Santa Barbara has had two 20-win seasons since 2007, both of which have come in its last two campaigns. On Nov. 19, 2021, the Gauchos defeated No. 13 UC Irvine 17-7 in the first round of the Golden Coast Conference Tournament for their 22nd win of the year, their most in a single season in over three decades.
There will be new opportunities for Santa Barbara as it replaces its top-four offensive producers from last season. The Gauchos' fourth-leading goal scorer from 2021 in Sam Nangle is back playing center for his senior year. A 2021 All-GCC Second Team selection, Nangle finished with 48 goals and two assists for a total of 50 points. He also led the Gauchos with 36 drawn exclusions and added nine steals and two field blocks.
Senior driver Ryan Brosnan also returns after a year in which he finished third on the team with 26 assists. The Newport Beach, Calif. native also added 19 goals, totaling the Gauchos' sixth-highest point total (45).
Sophomore attacker Adam Gyenis also returns following his GCC All-Freshman Team campaign. The Budapest, Hungary native was the sixth Gaucho to reach 30 goals last season, also contributing with 13 assists, five steals, and a second-leading six blocks.
Goalkeeper Danny Roland also returns for his senior year. Last season, Roland played in every game, starting in 20 of 26 appearances. He finished with an 8-7 record while totaling 144 saves, 17 steals and eight assists.
Senior attacker Mason Chambliss and Men's Junior World Championship participant for the US national team Dash McFarland are also back in the lineup as the Gauchos look to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1990.