Top 10 Preview
No. 1 USC travels to No. 6 UC Santa Barbara
No. 1 Southern California
Southern California delves back in for more MPSF play this week. USC (19-1, 1-0 MPSF) will take a trip up to Santa Barbara for an MPSF matchup against the No. 6 Gauchos (14-5, 1-1) as the Trojans take on UC Santa Barbara on Sunday.
Twenty games into 2013, the Trojans are putting up some big numbers. Led by Nikola Vavic with 57 goals, Kostas Genidounias with 53, Connor Virjee with 34 and Mace Rapsey with 27, USC has outscored opponents 347-102 -- more than tripling its foes' scoring count to date.
No. 2 UCLA
No. 2 UCLA (19-2, 0-1 MPSF), continues MPSF play this week when it travels to No. 8 UC Irvine (11-6, 0-1 MPSF) on Oct. 25 at Anteater Aquatics Complex. UCLA ends the week with a double-header at home with No. 3 Pacific (14-2, 2-0 MPSF).
No. 2 UCLA dropped its second consecutive game, falling to 18-2 overall and 0-1 in the MPSF after an 8-6 setback at No. 4 Stanford (11-4, 1-1 MPSF) at Avery Aquatic Center on Oct. 19. Redshirt junior Cristiano Mirarchi led UCLA with two goals against the Cardinal. The Bruins bounced back to post a 16-2 win at No. 16 Santa Clara on Oct. 20. Senior Aimone Barabino and freshman Gordon Marshall led UCLA with three goals apiece as 10 different Bruins scored.
No. 3 Pacific
No. 3 Pacific plays host to No. 18 Bucknell on Friday under the lights at Chris Kjeldsen Pool before a trip down to Los Angeles to face No. 2 UCLA on Sunday.
The Tigers (14-2, 2-0 MPSF) are coming off a 22-10 win against UC Davis last Friday. Senior Balasz Erdelyi tallied a season-high eight goals against the Aggies.
Erdelyi bumped his season total to 53 goals and his career scoring total to 244, one back of fourth on the Tigers' all-time scoring list.
No. 4 Stanford
Fourth-ranked Stanford resumes MPSF play Sunday afternoon, hosting No. 9 Pepperdine at Avery Aquatic Center.
The Cardinal (12-4, 1-1 MPSF) is riding a strong wave of momentum after last weekend's sweep which included an 8-6 victory against No. 2 UCLA on Homecoming Saturday. Stanford followed up the big win by defeating UC Davis 19-5 Sunday.
Freshman goalie Drew Holland was named MPSF KAP 7 Player of the Week Monday afternoon thanks to his strong defensive effort in the win against the Bruins. He stopped 11 shots and anchored a Cardinal defense that held UCLA goalless over 11 6-on-5 chances.
No. 5 California
Playing at home for the first time since early October, No. 5 Cal (12-4, 1-1) entertains No. 9 Pepperdine (8-7, 0-1) in a Friday night match at Spieker Aquatics Complex.
The Golden Bears have gained momentum recently, winning their last three matches and four of their last five contests. Cal’s losses this season have all been to teams currently ranked higher in the national polls, to then-No. 1-ranked UCLA (6-5) and Stanford (12-10) at the NorCal Invite, No. 4 Stanford (14-8) at the SoCal Invite and 7-6 to No. 3 Pacific Oct. 5 at home.
No. 6 UC Santa Barbara
No. 6 UC Santa Barbara (14-5, 1-1) looks to rebound from a close 12-9 loss last weekend against No. 5 Cal (12-4, 1-1). This weekend presents a strong challenge for the Gauchos, as they will compete in two more MPSF conference games.
Santa Barbara will be on the road to face off against No. 7 Long Beach State (16-5, 0-0) on Saturday. This will already be the third meeting between the two programs this season with UCSB winning both of the close matches thus far. The Gauchos will have little time to ponder about the match against the 49ers as the team will travel back home to host No. 1 USC (19-1, 1-0) on Sunday.
No. 7 Long Beach State
No. 7 Long Beach State will open up MPSF play this two important matches, first traveling to No. 8 UC Irvine for a Black and Blur Rivalry game on Thursday night. The 49ers then return home to host No. 6 UC Santa Barbara on Saturday.
The first MPSF game of the season for Long Beach State will be a rematch of the team's last game. On Oct. 13, the 49ers closed out the SoCal tournament with a 13-10 overtime victory against UC Irvine on the road, and will return to the Anteater Aquatics Complex to start conference play on Thursday night
No. 8 UC Irvine
Eighth-ranked UC Irvine hosts No. 7 Long Beach State on Thursday night in a "Black & Blue Rivalry," Mountain Pacific Sports Federation game. Coach Marc Hunt's 'Eaters host second-ranked UCLA Friday night in MPSF action.
UCI has been idle from competition since a 13-10, overtime loss to Long Beach State Oct. 13 in the seventh-place game of the UCI Invitational.
Senior driver Mitch Wise, a two-time All-American, leads UCI with 57 goals this season. Wise, who has 219 goals in his Anteater career, ranks third in the MPSF with a scoring average of 3.35 goals per game this season.
No. 9 Pepperdine
Pepperdine heads north this weekend to continue their MPSF conference season. On Friday, they take on the No. 5-ranked California Golden Bears, followed by another tough match on Sunday against No. 4 Stanford.
After splitting a pair of matches last weekend, Pepperdine dropped one spot to No. 9 in this week’s Collegiate Water Polo Association poll.
No. 10 Concordia (Calif.)
Concordia (Calif.) begins play this weekend by taking on Harvard at Santa Clara. On Saturday, the Eagles will face Brown and Fresno Pacific before playing hosts Santa Clara and Bucknell on Sunday.