Photo by Jason Honyotski – Ultiphotos.com
After thrashing New York 28-15 at home in Week 5, the D.C. Current (4-1) will hit the road to tangle with the Rumble (2-3) in New York this weekend. While the Current will want to duplicate last weekend’s result the team knows earning a victory on the road will be no easy task.
Seemingly everything went right for D.C. last weekend. They scored on 14 of their 15 possessions on offense and tallied another 14 scores on defensive line possessions, adding up to their biggest point total in franchise history.
It was a different story for the Rumble. They looked disjointed, incoherent, and generally disinterested in trying to produce the effort necessary to climb out of an early deficit. It was a strange performance from New York, especially considering the fact they were coming off a huge Week 4 win over the Boston Whitecaps, as they turfed the disc time and time again.
While the Rumble were scattered, D.C. was focused and transformed the game into a rout early on by turning those careless New York turnovers into easy scores.
“Everything was going our way, and it just wasn’t for them really,” said Brent Bellinger. “I think that things are really starting to click for us defensively and we were able to generate a lot of pressure.”
D.C.’s defense was outstanding last Saturday night as they harassed the Rumble’s offense all over the field, forcing them into making risky throws. The Current’s defense was then able to capitalize on those mistakes by consistently converting those turnovers into break points, as D.C. tallied 14 breaks which equaled the number of points the New York offense produced.
“In years past D.C. Ultimate has struggled with converting turns,” said Bellinger. “I think that once we start figuring that out we’re going to be a team to be reckoned with. Last week was a good demonstration of what it looks like when we are actually feeling it and things are going our way.”
Certainly D.C. hopes that New York’s bad luck spills over into their Week 6 matchup inside of the Eagle’s Nest in Union City, New Jersey, but the Current won’t be counting on it.
“I think it will be more of a battle this week,” said Alan Kolick. “One thing I noticed in the video is that obviously they made a lot of mistakes so I’m expecting them to clean it up this week. They probably watched some tape on our offense and our defense to see what we’re doing and I’m sure they will make some adjustments. I think we just have to be ready to make adjustments of our own.”
The Rumble will need to adjust how they guarded Kolick, as the handler torched New York to the tune of nine points off of two goals and seven assists. Kolick said that he and his O-line teammates have found a good groove over the past few weeks and it is leading to big success on the field.
“I think that we’ve gotten steadily better, with the exception of the Boston game [in Week 3], so that is nice to see,” said Kolick. “I think our guys are getting comfortable with each other and cutting down on the mistakes. In our early games we had a couple possessions where we would make mistakes in the first two or three throws and that really killed the rhythm. Once we get those first few throws off I think our offense really runs smoothly.”
The Current’s offense operated at a solid clip last week, but Head Coach Keven Moldenhauer still sees plenty of room for improvement from his squad.
“I’m happy that we were able to get the disc in the end zone, but I’m not happy with the fact that we are still turning the disc over at the rate that we are,” said Moldenhauer. “I thought our offense did a pretty good job of moving the disc but we still had eight turnovers and on seven of those points we did nothing to earn the disc back. That’s a big problem. They gave the disc back to us seven times and those easily could have been scores for their side.”
If D.C. is able to cut down on their turnovers and continues to convert break points at the rate they have over the past two weeks, Moldenhauer and his squad should have a happy bus ride back home late Saturday night.