Photo by Niko Duffy – UltiPhotos.com
The D.C. Current came out firing after halftime and were able to sink the Philadelphia Spinners due in large part to the play of their defensive line. Several plays stood out on Sunday, but here are a few takeaways from D.C.’s 25-23 Week 4 victory.
Converting Turns to Breaks
Early on in the season the Current struggled at times to punish opposing teams for committing turnovers, instead giving the disc back without scoring a break point. That wasn’t the case on Sunday, especially in the third quarter, as the Current were able to create turnovers and then convert them into goals. The play of the defensive line helped D.C. outscore Philadelphia 6-1 in the third quarter.
“We were two for three in the second quarter and four for seven in the third quarter at converting turns to break scores,” said Assistant Head Coach Will Smolinski. “We know that we can hang with anybody on D, it’s just a matter of converting turns to breaks. First quarter we weren’t good, second quarter didn’t have a lot of opportunities, but we were great in the third quarter.”
Photo by Sean Carpenter – UltiPhotos.com
Nearly everyone chipped in on defense against the Spinners. Fifteen different players were credited with a defensive play. Alan Kolick was credited with a game high three defensive plays, while teammate Peter Prial checked in with three D’s.
Turning on the Jets
Tied at 12 coming out of halftime, the Current tore the game open with a 6-1 third quarter. D.C. cut down on their offensive turnovers and switched up their defense, leading to several scoring opportunities.
At one point the Current ripped off four straight break points to take a 19-13 lead. Defensive handler Brett Bellinger was a crucial part of that explosive run and said that his team was riding a wave of momentum.
“Playing O-line for most of my career it’s really easy to get down on yourself when something like that is happening,” said Bellinger of the extended run. “The D-line feeds off of that, so it was really exciting for me to be on the opposite side of that spectrum for once and see how awesome it feels. Your legs are tired, but you have to tell yourself that their legs are just as tired and you just have to keep pushing. The pressure is all on them. At that point we have nothing to lose and it’s a great feeling.”
Keegan’s Career Day
The Current’s defense was stellar on Sunday, but Sean Keegan‘s performance was perhaps more impressive. Keegan put up an eight spot against the Spinners, tallying four goals and four assists, while also making 35 catches and going 29-for-30 on his throws. Keegan more than doubled his season point total, coming into the contest with seven points over the season’s first three weeks.
Photo by Sean Carpenter – UltiPhotos.com
“I felt good today. I feel like I’m adjusted to the Innova a bit, as someone who throws a bunch and is use to a certain disc. Changing up is always a little hard,” said Keegan. “But I felt really good in warmups. I’m finally getting healthy and it just happened to be my day. This is a team where anybody can be the man and put up big points. Today it just happened to be me; I found some space and made some plays.”
Current in First
After the New York Rumble picked off the Boston Whitecaps on Saturday, D.C. had a chance to move into sole possession of first place in the MLU’s Eastern Conference. The Current were able to take advantage of the opportunity by taking down the Spinners for the second time this season.
“That’s exciting, but nobody really mentioned it, it wasn’t really on our minds,” said Keegan. “This year, more than ever, we’re really focused on taking it one game at a time.”
The Current have won both of their contests against Philadelphia so far, and have split their pair of games with Boston (winning at home and losing on the road.) D.C. will try to remain perfect at Cardinal Stadium this season when they get their first look at the Rumble on Saturday, before traveling to New York in Week 6.
“We’re excited to be up 2-0 in this season series against the Spinners and that puts us in the driver’s seat,” said Smolinski. “But at the end of the day our season kind of starts anew next week. We’ve had two home games, and two away games and next week we have a home game against New York who we haven’t seen yet. We know that there is a good chance that that season series is going to be what puts us into or keeps us out of the playoffs.”