Oct. 28, 2009
Saturday, Oct. 31 - Stanford, Calif.
- vs. -
No. 9 UC Santa Barbara (9-8, 0-1 MPSF) - 12 p.m.
STANFORD, Calif. - The Stanford men's water polo team (15-1, 3-0 MPSF) returns to Avery Aquatic Center for a two-game homestand that starts Saturday, Oct. 31 against the No. 9 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (9-8, 0-1 MPSF). The opening sprint for Saturday's contest is set for 12 p.m.
About The Opposition
UC Santa Barbara (9-8, 0-1 MPSF), coached by former Stanford men's water polo standout Wolf Wigo, concludes a three-game weekend with Saturday's contest at Avery Aquatic Center. The Gauchos, after hosting No. 1 USC Thursday, heads up for a two-game Bay Area trip that opens with a Friday afternoon game at Santa Clara.
The Gauchos are led on offense by reigning MPSF Co-Player of the Week milos Golic, who has scored 42 goals in 2009. More offensive support is provided by Noah Smith (26 goals) and Zsombor Vincze (17).
On defense, goalie Fraser Bunn averages 9.9 saves per game.
Last Time Out
Stanford won its fourth straight game and improved its MPSF mark to 3-0 last Friday following a 13-6 victory at Pacific. Senior utility Drac Wigo outscored the Tigers on his own in the contest, netting seven goals to lead all players. Jacob Smith and Janson Wigo each scored twice while Ryan McCarthy and Travis Noll added a goal apiece to account for the rest of the Cardinal scoring.
On defense, goalie Jimmie Sandman allowed just three goals and made eight saves in the contest while freshman Scott Platshon stopped a shot late against the Tigers.
Stanford In The National Rankings
Wigo Claims Second MPSF Weekly Honor Of 2009
After its win at Pacific increased its record to 15-1, Stanford remained at No. 3 in the Varsity Top 20 Poll for the third straight week.
Senior utility Drac Wigo
earned his second MPSF Mikasa Player of the Week honor on Monday, after scoring a game-high seven goals in Stanford's 13-6 win at Pacific last Friday. It marked the second time this season that Wigo had scored seven times in a game, as he scored eight back on Sept. 19 in a 15-9 win over Pepperdine. Wigo captured his first player of the week award on Sept. 21 after leading the Cardinal to the NorCal Invitational title.
Quick Starts Are Key
One key to Stanford's 15-1 record and success this season has been the team's ability to get off to a fast start and put opponents into a quick hole. In its past three games, Stanford has scored 12 goals to just two for its opponents. On the year, Stanford has outscored its opponents by a 58-15 margin in the opening period.
Sandman Keeps His House Clean
A big help in those fast starts, as well as the Cardinal's team 5.31 goals-against average is the play of goalie Jimmie Sandman. Through 16 games, Sandman is second in the MPSF with 8.75 saves per game, and is in the top half of the conference's goalies with a goals-against average of just 4.81. Sandman's clutch play in front of the cage has been instrumental to Stanford outscoring its opponents, 204-85 this season.
Revenge On The Menu
Saturday's contest against UC Santa Barbara is the first time the teams have met in 2009, but because of the result of the last meeting between the schools, Stanford would like to exorcise some demons. Last Nov. 9, the Cardinal was riding high with a 5-0 MPSF mark as it traveled to Santa Barbara for a weekend contest, and the Gauchos put together a good defensive effort in limiting Stanford to just four goals in a 5-4 win.
A Battle Between Brothers
This weekend's game between Stanford and UC Santa Barbara also sees a sibling rivalry on the deck, as Stanford's Drac and Janson Wigo will attempt to lead the Cardinal to victory over a Gaucho team coached by their brother and former Stanfordf standout Wolf Wigo.
Among The MPSF Leaders
Drac Wigo leads the MPSF with 3.00 goals per game through the action of Oct. 26, while brother Janson is fourth with 2.13 goals per game. Ryan McCarthy, Jeffrey Schwimer and Travis Noll all edged inside the top 25, tied for 25th with 1.25 goals per game.
On the goalkeeping side, Jimmie Sandman's 8.75 saves per game is second in the MPSF while his 4.81 goals-against average is fourth.
As a team, Stanford boasts the most potent offense in the conference, scoring 12.75 goals per game while on the defensive end the Cardinal is second, allowing just 5.31 goals per game.
Head Coach John Vargas
Head coach John Vargas enters his eighth year at the helm of the Cardinal program in 2009. Vargas' record at Stanford is 162-46 (.779) against the top collegiate competition in the country, and he led the Cardinal to the 2002 national title in his first year at the helm. He has also led the Cardinal to the 20-win mark five times. Under Vargas' watch, 34 Stanford water polo players have earned All-America honors, including five in 2008. Three of his former Stanford players, Tony Azevedo, Peter Hudnut, and Peter Varellas, represented the United States as part of its 2008 Olympic Team in Beijing.