Photo by Pete Guion – UltiPhotos.com
The D.C. Current wrapped up the home portion of their schedule with a 21-15 victory over the New York Rumble to seal the season series sweep and claim their fifth-straight win. While there were many standout plays on Saturday, here are just a few takeaways from the Current’s fourth consecutive victory.
One of the many reasons the Current have been so successful this season is because of the depth on their roster. All season long Head Coach Keven Moldenhauer has spoken about his confidence in every single one of his players and he has shown it in the deployment of his troops.
All 25 active players got into the game against New York on Saturday and they all contributed in some way or another, with only four players not recording a goal or an assist in the contest.
That depth of scoring has been on full display over the past several weeks of the season. The Current had 19 players score in Week 9, 21 in Week 8, and 20 in Week 6 and a season-high 22 players were credited with a point in the Week 5 win.
While the Current’s star players get a lot of attention for the team’s success, David Cranston and David Boylan-Kolchin deserve just as much credit as Peter Prial and Jeff Wodatch for D.C.’s place atop the Eastern Conference standings.
“We always have each other’s back and we are always pushing each other to make that big play,” said Bobby Gordon. “Any single person can do it, because if it’s the number one guy or the number 25 guys we are all there to make that play, whoever’s number is called.”
Beating up the Rumble
With Saturday’s win over New York, D.C. completed the three-game season series sweep over the Rumble. Last weekend’s six-point margin was the tightest match between the two teams. Over the course of the three games, D.C. scored an average of 25.3 points against the Rumble, while New York scored an average of only 16 points.
Undefeated at Home
The Current closed out their regular season home schedule with another victory to give D.C. their fifth win at home this season. D.C. is the only team in the Eastern Conference to win each of their home games this season.
Only one home game remains for the Current, the Eastern Conference Championship on June 28th.
“We clearly have the best fans, they’re loud and they’re rambunctious,” said Moldenhauer. “It’s awesome getting to play in front of them, and it’s always exciting to win here for the home fans.”
For much of the season the Current’s offense has been nearly unstoppable with quick disc movement that leads to consecutive goals (D.C. has scored 195 times this season, tied for most in the MLU with Vancouver.) But in each of their past two home games D.C.’s offense has not looked incredibly sharp, especially at the start of contests. On Saturday the Current’s O-line got broken on their second possession of the game, and in Week 8 against Philadelphia, D.C. surrendered four-straight break points to open the second quarter. In each of these contests, D.C. offense was able to eventually find their stride and be productive enough to earn the win.
“There was a bit of a malaise at one point of the first half. We felt a little bit sleepy and I couldn’t really put my finger on why, but it just felt sluggish to a degree,” said handler Markham Shofner. “We were still moving the disc well enough and making some good plays but it didn’t feel as dynamic or active as it is when we’re really clicking and getting what we want. But I think once we started finding each other earlier in the counts it became easier.”
The reason the Current have only lost one game this season is because of the outstanding defense. Going into Saturday’s game, D.C.’s defense had scored 59 times in 101 points played, meaning they scored a break on 58.4% of the points they started.
D.C.’s defense operated just under that clip against the Rumble, scoring nine breaks over 23 points played. But more importantly the defense closed out the game by scoring four-straight breaks to crush New York’s hopes of achieving an upset.
“The D-line won us that game,” said Shofner. “It was closer than we wanted it the whole time and then in the fourth quarter the D-line just came out and destroyed. They didn’t want the offense to get back on the field and they got a bunch of breaks in a row and didn’t even give us a chance to get on the field. They were hungry and they were ready to go.”