Photo by Pete Guion – UltiPhotos.com
The Washington, D.C. Current (4-5) look to close out their 2015 campaign on a winning note as they take on the New York Rumble (2-7) in Saturday’s regular season finale.
Although their 17-14 loss to the Philadelphia Spinners last week dashed their playoff hopes, the Current say they still have plenty to look forward to this weekend in New York.
“We are going into this game knowing that we can win,” said Defensive Head Coach Will Smolinski. “Obviously, last week was a pretty big downer, but we have our fans to account for, and we want to make sure we make them and ourselves proud.”
The goals for this weekend are simple and straightforward: Play a complete game on both sides of the disc and win.
“I think the fact is still true that we have not played a strong game from start to finish this season,” said handler Freddie Tsai. “We’ve had tight games for most of these contests. We’ve been plagued by turnovers, drops and mental mistakes throughout the year. I want to finish the strongest we have ever played this season.”
New York and D.C. last played at Cardinal Stadium on May 16 when the Current defeated the Rumble 21-16. However, the Rumble took one from the Current by the score of 16-13 when the two teams squared off in New York six days earlier.
The Current lead the all-time series 6-2.
“We play this weekend to grow as players, to improve as teammates and to show we take pride in our ability to play top-level ultimate every time we step on the field,” said Offensive Head Coach Keven Moldenhauer.
Even though D.C. will finish third and New York will finish fourth in the Eastern Conference standings regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s game, both squads are looking to use the contest to get a jumpstart on next season.
Led by Chris Mazur and Chris Kocher, who are among the Eastern Conference’s top scorers, the injury-plagued Rumble want to prove they are better than their record and can contend in 2016.
The Current are just as eager to earn back their top spot in the East next season.
“We need to have the mindset that 2016 Current season starts this weekend,” said handler Calvin Oung. “We have an opportunity to set the tone for next year and we owe it to our fans and ourselves to play at a high level and hopefully bring home a win to cap off an up-and-down season.”
But the Current are not looking too far into the future yet. They simply want to have one final go and to be able to end the season on their terms.
“I think we’re really just looking to have a good time,” said handler Jonathan Neeley. “This year’s team has a lot of fun personalities. The bus rides and pre and postgame times with the team have been the most fun parts of the season, and I think we’re all looking to make the most of our final time to hang out together as the Current 2015.”
The Current take on the Rumble this Saturday, June 27, at Belson Stadium in New York City. First pull is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.