Photo by Bob Hume – UltiPhotos.com
The D.C. Current (3-3) are looking to avenge their first loss at Cardinal Stadium in franchise history when they face the Philadelphia Spinners (5-1) in Philadelphia on Saturday evening.
The Current had won their first nine home games at Cardinal Stadium before falling 19-18 to the Spinners on May 23.
Last weekend, D.C. had a bye, while Philadelphia defeated the New York Rumble 25-10. The Spinners’ latest victory extended their winning streak to four and stretched their Eastern Conference lead to two games.
To gain ground in the standings and to get back into playoff contention, the Current know they must both physically and mentally outdo a confident and motivated Spinners team that has already surpassed their 2014 win total (4).
“It is clear that Philly wants to prove themselves to the league,” said Head Coach Keven Moldenhauer. “We need to match this drive. We need to show that we are as hungry to win a championship as they are.”
“Our focus has to be sharper,” handler Calvin Oung said. “In our last game against Philly, I think our team was not mentally present. This Saturday will be a very physical chess match. We’ve played Philly the most during our MLU existence so the outcome will lie in the balance between execution and adjustments.”
The D.C. defense forced twenty turnovers in their 18-15 win against Philadelphia in week two, but created only seven during their 19-18 loss in Week 6.
“The first game against Philly we were better at execution – throwing to the open player, making good decisions and playing hard all game,” said defensive handler Freddie Tsai. “Our second game, Philly was driven, focused, and prepared more so than we were on offense and defense. I feel that we have yet to play a complete game on offense and defense this season.”
Plagued by inconsistencies on both sides of the disc all season, the Current want to use Saturday’s game to jump-start their lackluster 2015 campaign. The Current are confident the return of handlers Alan Kolick and Dominique Gibson, who did not play in the May 23 game, will help them to accomplish this goal.
“The presence of just those two can be the difference between a W and an L in a tight contest,” said Oung. “I’m expecting Alan to bring back a calming presence and more importantly, fun to our O-line.”
D.C., however, will have to get their backs off the wall with David Cranston and Gabe Webster out and Nate Castine and Seth Wiggins questionable for Saturday. Still, the Current are unfazed by the obstacles that lie ahead. In fact, they think they may even thrive in their present position.
“Our team must embrace and rally behind the underdog mentality that helped energize us last season,” said Oung. “We are no longer top dog in the league and we need to play like we have nothing to lose.”
“I have no doubt we have the pieces and the potential to dominate,” said Tsai. “It’s been an up-and-down season, but we still have our best ultimate ahead of us in this last stretch of the season. We’re back to being the underdog, and perhaps that’s when we’re at our best.”
The D.C. Current and the Philadelphia Spinners will face off at Marple Newtown High School in Newtown, Penn. this Saturday, June 6. First pull is at 6:30 p.m.