Photo by Sean Carpenter – UltiPhotos.com
The Current’s undefeated run came to an end on Saturday night, as the Boston Whitecaps defeated D.C. by a final count of 17-12. The contest was close through the opening 20 minutes, as Boston led 9-7 at halftime, but the Whitecaps pulled away after the break to earn a shred of revenge against the Current.
A week after D.C. disabled Boston’s perfect record, the Whitecaps returned the favor in front of their home fans Saturday night. The Whitecaps opened the second half on a 4-1 run, and would ultimately outscore the Current 8-5 in the final two quarters.
“The defense in the first half was playing fantastic. They were tight on their man, they were making turns happen,” said Current Head Coach Keven Moldenhauer. “But unfortunately the offense was making to0 many errors. It wasn’t the Boston defense that was shutting us down; guys were wide open, they were just turning it over.”
While the Current’s offense struggled to find a rhythm for most of the contest, the game opened with a quick goal from D.C. The Current tallied the game’s opening score 36 seconds into the match, as Calvin Oung found Cody Johnston in the end zone. D.C. then doubled their advantage as David Cranston made a pair of D’s on the following point, before Tom Doi sent a pass to Jeff Wodatch for his first of four goals on the day.
Photo by Jason Honyotski – UltiPhotos.com
D.C. would have the chance to extend their early lead as their D-line proved another break opportunity; however, the Current were unable to convert as Boston got the turn back and subsequently scored on a huck to Brandon Malecek. The Current’s only lead of the game quickly melted away as Boston scored again to knot the game at two before the Whitecaps scored twice more to give the home side a 4-2 advantage.
“We had a chance to go up 3-0,” said Current Assistant Coach Will Smolinski. “We scored the first point on O, broke for a second point and then on the third point we had possession of the disc but gave it back to them. They were able to score and we were kind of trailing the whole game after that.”
D.C. was able to fight back, getting a score from Wodatch as time wound down at the end of the first quarter, before tying it at four early in the second on a goal from Cranston. The two sides traded points for most of the frame until the Whitecaps got a break to go up 8-6. Boston carried that two goal advantage into the halftime break at 9-7.
“Offensively we were running what we wanted to, we were getting wide open and working well in space,” said Moldenhauer. “But similar to our game against Philadelphia, we had a lot of uncharacteristic turnovers, turfed throws and throw aways – the kinds of things we don’t normally do. In our 11 offensive possessions in the first half we had at least one turnover on seven of them.”
The contest would get out of hand in the third quarter as Boston was able to string together several scores to open up a 13-8 advantage. The Current were never able to recover as too many of their passes ended up in the turf.
“It was a little bit of a struggle out there tonight,” said handler Alan Kolick. “First half we were in it and making just a few too many simple mistakes, but I thought we were playing even with them or maybe playing a little bit better and just had a couple silly turns. But they did a really good job of locking down our offense in the second half, and we ended up trying a few too many difficult throws which led to easy scores for them.”
Photo by Bob Durling – UltiPhotos.com
The Whitecaps featured a diverse attack as seven different players on the Boston roster finished with three or more points. Danny Clark tallied two goals and two assists, Matt Rebholz chipped in four assists, and Jim Foster finished with three goals and one assist.
D.C.’s offense was paced by Wodatch, who scored a game high six points off of four goals and two assists, and rookie Paul Grabowski who touched down with the disc in the end zone three times. But on the whole it was a disappointing night for the Current’s offense which scored just 12 times, the lowest total output in franchise history.
“Last year it was clear that Boston was above everyone else in the league. When we played them it would have taken a miracle for us to win,” said Moldenhauer. “This year, even in this game, it wasn’t about them taking the disc away from us, it was us giving away the disc to them. They weren’t dominating, we won the 50/50 battle again. We are in prime position to take this division. It’s just a matter of shoring up those small mistakes.”
The loss is the first of the year for the Current, and drops them into a tie atop the Eastern Conference with the Whitecaps at 2-1. The Current will return home to Cardinal Stadium next week where they will face off with the Philadelphia Spinners on Sunday, May 4 at 5:00 p.m.