Photo by Sandy Canetti – Ultiphotos.com
Coming off their first losses of the season last weekend, the Current (2-2) are looking to get back on track against the New York Rumble (1-2) this Saturday.
D.C. had previously won an MLU-record 11-straight games in addition to their last five matches against New York, before last Sunday’s 16-13 win by the Rumble.
“We had a rough weekend where we showed flashes of who we are, but were really just a ghost,” said Defensive Head Coach Will Smolinski. “Defensively, we didn’t produce that many turnovers, not anything close to what we expect out of our guys. That was from our inability to apply consistent pressure and finish plays.”
The Current know they must fix the inconsistencies on both sides of the disc that plagued them during last weekend’s games in Boston and New York.
D.C. has never lost more than two games in a row in franchise history, and the Current’s last losing streak dates back to May 2013 during their inaugural season.
“[Last] weekend was a reminder that no game is going to be given to us, ever,” said offensive handler Jonathan Neeley. “On offense, we need to do a better job of possessing the disc and hustling to get it back when we do turn it over, and we need to space the field better.”
At the end of the first half of last Sunday’s game, the Rumble converted on three of four break opportunities to extend their lead to four. Although the offense kept things close in the fourth quarter, the Current could not score consistently and efficiently enough to pull off the victory.
“To right the ship, we need to come out with the same intensity that we finished the game with,” said Head Coach Keven Moldenhauer. “We need to cut down on the unforced errors. We need to clear the space we are attacking so that our offense can run.”
The defense struggled mightily during D.C.’s 16-13 loss to New York last Sunday: The unit did not force a single turnover in the first half and generated only three turnovers the entire game.
“We couldn’t get a defensive stop in the first half in our first game against the Rumble,” said defensive handler Freddie Tsai. “It’s a testament to how well they were playing on offense and how loose we were playing on defense. New York has a bunch of playmakers, so we need to give them the respect they deserve and play them aggressively on both sides of the disc.”
“We came out flat against New York and invited the loss on Sunday,” defensive cutter Brian Marshall said. “Moving forward, our pregame focus will be to position ourselves physically and mentally to succeed from the first pull.”
With a win this Saturday, D.C. can reclaim its top spot in the Eastern Conference. However, with a loss, the Current would tumble to third and fall below the Rumble in the standings.
“We came into this season talking about how outcomes don’t define us, our performance does,” said Smolinski. “We did not perform this weekend and you can bet that we will be more emotionally and physically prepared for New York this weekend.”
“These two losses have the potential to be good for us if we learn from them. Everybody on this team is an asset, has value and needs to show up ready to work.”
Come support the Current against the Rumble at Cardinal Stadium this Saturday. First pull goes off at 6:00 p.m.