The final game of the D.C. Current season was a tough loss to the Boston Whitecaps.
While not nearly as lopsided as the 11-point loss on May 12th, the 23-15 loss was no less crushing as this one brought the season to a close.
On a windy yet gorgeous day in Medford, MA, the game seemed to start off well enough for D.C. over the first quarter, which ended with Boston ahead 6-5. The Whitecaps did collect one early break, but did not pull away or seem to provide too much resistance for the Current offense. Upon closer inspection, however, the opening period laid the blueprint for the remainder of the game.
At 5-5 after Brandon Malacek threw it through the uprights instead of into Danny Clark’s hands on the first throw of the point, D.C. had a little over 2 minutes to go up one before the first quarter came to a close. The Current coaching staff decided to sub out their defensive line for a fresh offensive line in order to increase their chances of scoring the break. The Whitecaps followed suit and subbed in a defensive line. Following the substitutions, D.C.’s offense seemed disorganized. After a few passes gaining about 25 yards, a throw went to no one in particular. Boston then worked it across the field in a few passes and then called a timeout to use the same strategy that D.C. had used a few moments previously and sub in their O-line while D.C. used the chance to sub back in their D-line. Boston quickly punched in the goal to Malacek to go ahead 6-5 with 1:18 to play in the first quarter.
As coaches often say, “Mistakes happen, it is how you respond to them that matters.” On the very next point, Markham Shofner threw a huck too deep for Calvin Oung to pull in. Boston threw a rather quick turnover off the side of the field to give D.C. one more shot at the end zone with 12 seconds left and 30 yards to go. Shofner once again overthrew an open Oung in the end zone.
At this moment, there was no way to know it at the time, but the game was over. D.C. would never again have the opportunity to tie the game, let alone take the lead. Boston came out in the second quarter and went up 7-5 on a goal to Danny Clark. The teams would trade points to 10-8 before D.C. turned the disc over after a deep pull to give Boston a short field scoring opportunity. The Whitecaps called a timeout and went to their big-time players as Jeff Graham caught the first in-cut, turned and threw a goal to Clark. Now up 11-8, the Whitecaps would extend to 13-8 and 15-9 before the half.
The remainder of the game featured many unforced errors from the D.C. side, from drops to throwaways, on which Boston was all-too-happy to capitalize. The D.C. defense was within reach for the entirety of the game, but each time they managed to get a turn, their offense was slowed and stymied by Boston’s zone defense. While there was no quit in the Current, the Whitecaps overwhelmed their efforts by executing cleanly over the course of the game.