Photo by Bob Hume -Ultiphotos.com
The D.C. Current snapped their two-game losing streak with a 21-17 win against the New York Rumble on Saturday night.
D.C. improved their record to 3-2 while New York fell to 1-3 with the loss, with their only win coming against D.C. last Sunday.
“I think that the biggest thing for us was coming out and knowing that we needed to play well,” said handler Jonathan Neeley. “It’s a big difference having a winning record than a losing one…And if you dig a 2-3 hole for yourself, it could be really dangerous.”
The Current and the Rumble were neck and neck throughout the first half, playing to a 9-9 tie during the first 20 minutes of action. The lead changed hands four times and neither side held more than a one-point advantage.
However, D.C. broke out with four straight scores, including three break points, at the start of the third quarter to establish a lead they would not relinquish for the remainder of the game.
“In the locker room, we talked about coming out swinging on defense especially,” handler Freddie Tsai said. “We tightened up a lot. They still made plays. They’re going to get their due, but it really paid off in the second half when all of that aggressiveness came to the front.”
Cutter Jeff Wodatch led the D.C. charge with a game-high nine points (five goals, four assists), three of which came within the final five minutes of the game. Handler Calvin Oung helped the Current keep pace with the Rumble tallying six first-half points on four goals and two assists, while handler Alan Kolick added seven points (three goals, four assists).
“I think I really had to make up for last week because I had a terrible game [against New York],” said Wodatch. “And I think, in general, our offense was clicking better…We were confident. We knew we just had to score one and get our D-line back out there. We knew as long as we ran our offense that would happen.”
Although the Current raced out to a 13-9 lead to start the second half, New York’s Chris Mazur, Chris Kocher, and Ben Faust made sure D.C. could not establish a comfortable lead. Faced with a 14-10 deficit midway through the third quarter, the Rumble responded with three straight points, including two breaks.
“It’s rare where you play a game where both teams don’t experience moments of momentum,” said Neeley. “And what good teams do is they recognize, even the time when it’s not their moment, and they go out and they execute and trust that their moment’s going to come.”
D.C. outlasted New York 6-4 in the final quarter, during which Kolick threw three assists and Wodatch scored two goals in the game’s closing minutes to secure the victory.
“We’d been talking since last week about trusting teammates and going out and playing for your teammates and running hard,” said Defensive Head Coach Will Smolinski. “Some of our recipe for success last year was that running hard in the first quarter pays dividends for the second, third and fourth quarter.”
The Current will not face the Rumble again until June 27th when both teams close out their 2015 regular seasons in New York.
D.C. will have the opportunity to take sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference this weekend, as they will square off against the Philadelphia Spinners at home on Saturday with the first pull scheduled for 6 p.m.