Peter Prial recorded four goals and two assists, first-year player Eddie Peters added three goals and two assists and D.C.’s improved offensive attack was too much for the Spinners, who lost 21-18 Saturday night at Franklin Field in Philadelphia.
Throughout the game, the Current proved they were the better team, but the Philadelphia Spinners showed they would not go down without a fight. Ultimately, the Current finished off the Spinners by scoring the final two points of the contest to secure a season opening victory.
“I was very impressed with the way we actually implemented our offense,” said D.C. Head Coach Keven Moldenhauer. “This was something brand new for the guys, so for them to execute it as well as they did was very impressive.”
Alan Kolick threw a score to Sean Keegan just 36 seconds into the fourth quarter to give the Current a 15-10 lead, their biggest advantage of the contest. But D.C.’s seemingly insurmountable advantage slowly melted away as Philadelphia took advantage of turnovers committed by the Current.
The Spinners’ Jake Rainwater started the comeback by coming down with an amazing catch in the end zone to cut the Current’s lead to 16-12, which was quickly followed by another Philadelphia goal by Matt Esser.
D.C.’s advantage was whittled down to one score at 18-17, with just over three minutes to play after Esser touched down in the end zone once more. But D.C. showed no panic as their O-line responded with a composed point that ended with Kolick finding Prial wide open for the score.
Kolick, who usually flashes on offense, ended the game with an acrobatic defensive play in the final seconds of the game. D.C. was trying to bleed the clock while up by one with under 90 seconds remaining, but the Current turned the disc over after a downfield huck. The Spinners had possession with the chance to push the game to extra time. But on a simple up-field throw, Kolick snuck up on his mark and pounced for the layout D. A pair of passes later and the Current were in the end zone with a two score lead with just 13 seconds left on the clock.
“I was a little upset with the turn because all we had to do was keep possession, so I really just wanted to get it back,” Kolick said. “I picked him up kind of late, I wasn’t really guarding him, but I saw him making the cut slowly and he clearly didn’t know that I was right behind him. I just snuck in front of him and got the D.”
Led by Prial and Peters, 17 different Current players recorded at least one point and nine different players had multi-point outings.
“It’s good to get the win and start the season off right,” said Prial. “But we could have executed a little better. Probably could have won by a little bit more, but just getting the win was a good way to start the season.”
D.C. jumped out to an early lead, scoring two break points to grab early control of the contest. But Philadelphia would respond with back-to-back scores of their own to knot the match at two. Goals from Prial and Brian Marshall restored the Current’s two goal margin.The Spinners refused to allow D.C. to stretch their advantage by more when Mike Panna scored for Philadelphia to make it a 4-3 contest in the opening 10 minutes of play.
Both teams found their way to the end zone five times in the second quarter. Each time that D.C. scored Philadelphia would respond in kind with a goal of their own, never allowing the Current to amass more than a two goal lead.
But the Current caught fire after halftime running a 9-8 advantage at the break all the way out to a 13-9 lead. D.C.’s offense looked unstoppable at times as their cutters flew to open spaces allowing the team’s group of talented handlers easy throws.
“Everybody on the O-line can cycle between handling and cutting, which I think makes us really dynamic and difficult to stop when we’re clicking,” said Prial. “In the third quarter in particular we were clicking. We were playing really, really well”
The Current looked good in their season debut on Saturday night, but D.C. still has plenty of areas to clean up before they open up the home portion of their schedule next Saturday against Boston.
Make sure to come cheer on the Current during their home opener, Saturday, April 19 at 6:00 p.m. against Boston.