Photo by Sean Carpenter – UltiPhotos.com
The D.C. Current closed out their regular season campaign with a 21-19 victory over the Philadelphia Spinners to earn their seventh-straight victory and secure the season series sweep. While there were several plays that stood out on Saturday, here are few takeaways from the Current’s big win.
The D.C. Current started their season with a win on the road against Philadelphia, and they ended their regular season campaign with another win away from home in the City of Brotherly Love. D.C. made a habit of winning away from Cardinal Stadium this season as they collected four road wins (tied for most in the league with Portland.) This season there were 40 regular season games total in the MLU, the visiting team won 13 of those matchups, meaning the Current accounted for nearly one third of the total road victories.
Saturday’s win over the Spinners was the fourth of the season for D.C. giving them the season series sweep over Philadelphia. The Current earned series sweeps over both Philadelphia and New York this season. D.C.’s victory also effectively ended the Spinners’ season, as Philadelphia needed to win to complete their late season run at a playoff spot.
All season long the Current have shown that they save their best for last. While the final scores might not show it, many of the Current’s games have been close for long stretches only to see D.C. pull away in the final moments. Saturday night provided another example of the Current’s late game heroics as they scored four times in the final three minutes of the game to end the Spinners’ season.
“It’s kind of been a trend for us this season,” said Alan Kolick. “I’m not sure why that has been the case, but I hope it continues in the playoffs.”
Week 11 Highlights:[iframe width=”624″ height=”360″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/jUzfZQLtoKI” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen]
In each of their first nine games this season, the Current had a relatively stable rotation of players on both offense and defense. That rotation was blown up on Saturday when offensive line stalwarts like Kolick played several defensive points, and regular defensive line starters like Dan Kantor played offensive points.
Why would D.C. mess with success? As assistant coach Will Smolinski explained, the game plan was designed for several purposes.
“You can understand the offense and the defense better when you’re playing at a position where you don’t normally play and you can see why sometimes a guy does this when he’s covering a handler,” said Smolinski.
“One of the other reasons we made the decision to play the lines that we did was that we knew we would struggle initially. We haven’t been behind at the half since Week 3, so we wanted to make sure we were mentally prepared to do that and be put in that situation again.”
Not Just Offense
Alan Kolick is one of the best offensive players in the league, which has earned him considerable recognition in the MVP race. But on Saturday Kolick showed that he is a complete player who can affect the game with his defensive skills.
After laying out to knock the disc away from a would be receiver earlier in the game, Kolick created another turnover in crunch time.
After bombing a huck to Paul Grabowski to give the Current an 18-17 lead, Kolick came back out on to the pitch for the ensuing point. Kolick switched onto the Spinners’ Trey Katzenbach and followed him as he cleared upfield. Kolick anticipated a short pass to Marcus Ranii-Dropcho, poached off his man and stepped in front of the toss for the interception.
“I had been looking to make that poach a couple times throughout the game,” said Kolick. “The first several times it didn’t get thrown, but I was kind of recognizing patterns in the way that they played. That time he just happened to throw it, so it was good timing for us.”
Cheer on the Current to their eighth-straight win at the Eastern Conference Finals this Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at Cardinal Stadium.