Fourth-ranked Stanford men's water polo concludes its season-long four-game homestand and plays its penultimate regular-season home game of 2013 Sunday when it hosts No. 6 UC Santa Barbara at 12 p.m. at Avery Aquatic Center.
The Cardinal (13-4, 2-1 MPSF) enters the game on a three-game winning streak after earning victories over No. 2 UCLA, No. 11 UC Davis and No. 9 Pepperdine over the past two weeks. Sunday's contest will be the first meeting of the season between the Cardinal and Gauchos (15-6, 2-2 MPSF).
Heading into the weekend's action sophomore driver Bret Bonanni leads the MPSF with 3.65 goals per game and has scored a team-leading 62 on the year. Junior utility Alex Bowen is next on the team list with 44 goals and his 2.59 goals per game rank eighth in the MPSF. For the Cardinal, BJ Churnside (24 goals) and Forrest Watkins (21) are also over the 20-goal mark.
Freshman Drew Holland ranks third in the conference with a 6.77 goals-against average and over the past three games has combined with Scott Platshon to limit opponents to just 14 goals (4.67 per game).
In last Sunday's 11-3 win over Pepperdine the Cardinal also got a pair of goals apiece from freshman Jackson Kimbell (18 goals on the year) and senior Paul Rudolph.
UC Santa Barbara, with former Stanford All-American and Olympian Wolf Wigo at the helm, hosts UC Irvine Saturday afternoon before heading north to face the Cardinal. The Gauchos, which went 1-1 against the Cardinal last year, are led by the scoring of Matt Gronow (49 goals), who ranks ninth in the MPSF with 2.58 goals per game. In goal, Chris Whitelegge leads the conference with 14.06 saves per game and is eighth with an 8.45 goals-against average.