Match No. 23
No. 11 UCSD (14-8) at No. 6 UC Irvine (14-10)
Wednesday, November 9 - 7:00 p.m.
Anteater Pool - Irvine, Calif.
UCSD TO HOST 2011 WWPA MEN'S CHAMPIONSHIPS, NOVEMBER 17-20
The UCSD men's water polo team will host the 2011 WWPA Men's Championships at Canyonview Aquatic Center November 17-20. For all information on the WWPA Championships, visit Tournament Central.
STATE OF THE TRITONS
Winners in three of its last four matches, UCSD hits the road at 14-8 overall and 12-3 in WWPA play. The Tritons jumped out to an early lead and held on the rest of the way in their 14-7 win over Santa Clara on Friday night at Canyonview Pool. Josh Stiling led the way with four scores while John Butler, Lukas Syka and Joe Dietrich added two goals apiece. It was a different story for UCSD on Sunday afternoon against No. 1 UCLA. The Tritons scored just a single goal in each quarter of play as the Bruins prevailed 9-4. Graham Saber led UCSD with a pair of goals while Butler and Stiling added a score apiece.
UCSD (14-8, .636) has the third-highest overall winning percentage in the WWPA behind UC Davis (20-9, .690) and Loyola Marymount (15-6, .714). However, the Tritons' 12 conference victories are best in the WWPA. Come seeding time for the WWPA Championship Tournament, UCSD will likely be looking at the No. 2 seed. Even though the Tritons lead the WWPA in wins, a 1-3 record against LMU will likely put the Tritons behind the Lions (10-1 WWPA). UCSD is 2-0 against UCD (11-4 WWPA) this season.
UC Irvine topped Long Beach State 13-12 last Thursday night before falling 14-7 to Stanford on Sunday afternoon. The Anteaters are 4-4 over their last four matches and sit in sixth place in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The UCI offense is headed by sophomore Mitch Wise, who's 61 goals are best in the MPSF. Reigning MPSF Player of the Week Trent Baxter has 44 goals this year and recently tallied six scores in the Anteaters' victory over the 49ers. UCSD is 0-5 against MPSF teams this year and 7-8 against top-20 teams.
David Morton increased his school record for saves to 1,023 with 19 saves over two matches against SCU and UCLA. His 10 saves on Friday against the Broncos was his 11th double-digit save performance of the season. His 211 stops this season mark the fourth time in his career in which Morton has surpassed the 200-save benchmark in a single season. Saber joined Morton in the UCSD record book on Sunday against the Bruins. His nine shot attempts gave the senior driver 168 attempts this season, 10th-most in a single season in school history. Saber, who leads the team with 68 goals this season, holds a shooting percentage of .405.
Josh Stiling led the Tritons with five goals in their two contests a week ago ... John Butler's five steals against SCU are a season-high for UCSD. He added a game-high three assists in the contest ... Matthew Michalko drew a pair of ejections in both matches last week ... Seven of nine of Lance Curtiss's shots have been converted for goals this season. That's a .777 shooting percentage, best on the team ... David Higginson and William Brown each registered a pair of assists in the win over the Broncos ... UCSD passed its 2010 win total (13-13) with the team's 14th win of the year on Friday against SCU.