Photo by Brian Canniff – UltiPhotos.com
The D.C. Current’s quest to make a third-straight appearance in the Major League Ultimate playoffs came to a close on Saturday, as the 17-14 defeat they suffered on the road against the Philadelphia Spinners eliminated them from the postseason picture.
Saturday’s penultimate contest of the 2015 season got off to a bright start for the Current. They scored three-straight break points to open the match. But the sun did not shine on the Current for long as Philadelphia was able to turn the momentum in their favor using a 5-0 run to pull away from D.C.
D.C. got off to a great start in the first quarter, but by the frame’s end things started to turn. Billy Sickles caught a score as time expired in the first quarter to cut D.C.’s advantage to 6-4.
The Spinners continued to cut into the Current’s lead when they scored their first break point of the contest on the first point of the second quarter. D.C. answered back on their following possession as Peter Prial touched down in the end zone to give the Current a 7-5 advantage. But that would be the final tally of the first half for D.C.; the Current failed to execute there offensive sets cleanly. They dropped easy passes and put up unwise throws that turned into turnovers and easy points for the Spinners.
“There were lots of unforced errors,” said Defensive Head Coach Will Smolinski. “They made a couple pretty good defensive plays but we really just weren’t completing passes.”
Over a span of 10 minutes and 55 seconds of game time from the second to third quarter the Current were held off the scoreboard while the Spinners went on a 5-0 run to claim a 10-7 advantage.
Knowing their playoff fate was on the line the Current fought back to get within two scores at 13-11 after the end of the third quarter. D.C. slimmed the deficit even further in the fourth quarter as Brian Marshall hit Delrico Johnson for the Current’s fifth break score of the game to make it a 15-14 contest. On the following possession D.C.’s defense was able to record a turnover to give the squad a shot at tying the contest at 15. But D.C. was unable to convert on the break opportunity as their shot towards the end zone was knocked away by the Spinners.
Philadelphia ended up scoring on that possession and D.C. never again got close to knotting the contest or overcoming the deficit in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. They ultimately fell to the Spinners, 17-14.
“We weren’t in bad shape going into the third quarter because we had such a good first quarter,” said Smolinski. “We were in a position to tie in both the third and fourth quarters, we just didn’t play clean on offense after we got breaks back, or we didn’t convert the turn into a break. We know we are better than what we played on Saturday, it just wasn’t our day.”
The Current will wrap up their 2015 campaign on the road this Saturday when they take on the New York Rumble – first pull is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.