Photo by Brain Canniff – UltiPhotos.com
Saturday provided the first look at the 2014 D.C. Current. Here are five take aways from the squad’s 21-18 win over the Philadelphia Spinners.
D.C. spent the offseason implementing a new offensive system, and they unleashed it against the Spinners on Saturday. At times the offense looked unstoppable, as cutters left their defenders in the dust leading to easy throws and wide open looks. The Current scored easily several times in less than six throws.
Other possessions were more disjointed, undone by simple drops leading to a few break points.
Overall head coach Keven Moldenhauer said he was pleased with the offense’s performance and expects the minor kinks to work themselves out as the team progresses through the season.
“It was very gratifying [to see the offense in motion],” said Moldenhauer. “With the types of mistakes we made, you expect to get better. Those were things that will fix themselves. If the offense is doing what it’s suppose to do, then the scores are going to come.”
The overall output was impressive as well. The Current tallied 20+ points just once during the 2013 campaign, outscoring the New York Rumble 22-20 in Week 10 to secure a spot in the playoffs. One week into the 2014 season and the Current have already equaled that mark.
The Current re-signed 18 players from the 2013 playoff team, leaving little room for new additions. But the rookies who did make the cut impressed in their first game action with huge contributions on the field.
Eddie Peters looked very comfortable with the disc in his hands, recording five total points on three goals and two assists.
Connor Maloney tallied the first goal of the Current’s season, and was able to come down with two other scores by utilizing body positioning to box out his defenders.
Freddie Tsai scored a pair of points throwing for one score and catching another. Paul Grabowski and Ben Fleming also found their way on the scoresheet each grabbing a goal.
The Current already have incredible depth on their roster, but if they continue to get this level of contribution from their newcomers throughout the season they will be immensely satisfied.
Alan Kolick is known around the league for his incredible set of offensive skills, but a late-game defensive stop by the handler helped the Current come away with a victory.
Up by a score and receiving the disc with under 90 seconds remaining in the contest, all D.C. had to do was bleed the clock by playing keep away. But an unwise huck resulted in a turnover and a chance for Philadelphia to push the game into overtime.
Kolick made sure that didn’t happen as he flew through the air to D a simple Philadelphia pass. The Current would score two passes later to decisively end the game.
“Anytime you get a D it feels great, but that’s the kind of play I like the most,” said Kolick. “I was just kind of grinning the whole time, and then I snuck in front of him and got the D.”
Composure Down the Stretch
D.C. held a five goal lead early in the fourth quarter, but watched as Philadelphia slowly sliced into the advantage eventually getting within one score on two separate occasions late in the contest.
Each time the Spinners drew within a score, the Current’s O-line responded with a composed and confident point. After the Spinners made it an 18-17 contest, the Current were cool and collected on offense as Kolick would find Peter Prial for a simple score. The offense responded once again when Philadelphia cut the lead to 19-18, scoring with 13 seconds left to end the game.
“I think the composure just comes with confidence,” said Moldenhauer. “One of the things we worked on last year was building this fourth quarter mentality. Getting that huge win against New York to push us into the playoffs went a long way in creating this attitude that we are going to win no matter what, and that was what you saw.”
Former Boston Whitecaps star Peter Prial was easily the biggest offseason signing for the Current. Dressed in a D.C. jersey for the first time in his career, Prial made a major impact. He led the team in scoring, recording four goals and two assists, and had instant chemistry with the Current’s main handlers Alan Kolick and Markham Shofner.
Prial, who led the MLU in goals scored last season, is a master at getting open. Seemingly each time he came for the disc there was not a defender in sight allowing easy completions for the Current’s offense. Both Kolick and Prial were as complementary of each other off the field following the game as they were on the field during it.
“The magician,” said Prial. “Alan is a great player and it’s obviously a lot of fun to play with him. It’s a lot of fun to play with all of the guys on the line.”
If Prial and Kolick, along with their other Current teammates, continue to connect the way they did against the Spinners, this season should be a lot of fun for the D.C. fans.
Make sure to come cheer on the Current during their home opener, Saturday, April 19 at 6:00 p.m. against the Boston Whitecaps.