The UCSB men’s water polo team will do just about anything to get a win these days. Losers of six of their past seven, the # 8 Gauchos (12-7 overall, 0-1 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) head down to La Jolla today searching for answers, and more importantly an elusive victory when they take on host #12 UC San Diego (9-6 overall).
The Gauchos’ midseason slide comes on the heels of a season-opening stretch that saw them win 10 of their first 11 games. Things seemed to be looking up for the Gauchos after a victory over Loyola Marymount last Saturday, but the momentum disappeared in the second-half of the conference opener against #6 UC Irvine last Saturday. Two Anteater goals late in the second half sent the Gauchos to another disappointing loss.
All of this adds an extra sense of urgency to tonight’s contest, as UCSB faces another tough game against another nationally ranked opponent. Despite the mounting losses, the Gauchos have put up a fight, with their last five losses to nationally ranked team being one-goal decisions.
Tonight’s UCSB attack will once again center around senior driver Ross Sinclair, who leads UCSB in virtually every offensive category. Sinclair comes into tonight’s game with 32 goals and 18 assists on the young season. Freshman utility Milos Golic has shown that he needs no adjustment to the college game, scoring 20 goals to go along with 13 assists so far in his first year of NCAA action. Sophomores Zsombor Vincze and Stefan Partelow have added additional scoring punch to the Gaucho attack, with 23 and 22 goals respectively. Vincze and Golic are playing their best water polo of late, combining for seven of the eight goals scored by UCSB against the Anteaters. Regardless of the games’ results, the duo has shown that the future remains bright for a Gaucho program on the rise.
Tonight’s match between UCSB and UCSD will take place at the Canyonview Pool in La Jolla, Calif. at 6 p.m.