The Spinners (6-1) defeated the Current (2-5) for their sixth win of the season and undefeated winning streak at home in Carey Stadium.
Memorial Day Weekend brought a tremendous heat wave along with another win for the Philadelphia Spinners against the Washington D.C. Current, as the teams met for the second time this season. AS the Current arrived, they were pumped and ready to go after their two consecutive wins against the New York Rumble over the last two weeks. The team from our nation’s capital was looking for another win to keep their chances of reaching the MLU playoffs alive. The Spinners on the other hand were hoping a win would boost team morale and get them back on track. The Philadelphia team was still feeling the affects of their loss against the Boston Whitecaps two weeks ago, in which they lead late in the 4th quarter. The loss was the first of the MLU 2016 season and another win on the books would be ideal for the Spinners.
As the first pull was released, the Spinners’ looked to continue their season long trend of taking the lead early on in the game. Their wish had been granted at just 16 seconds into the game as Nick Hirannet’s huck found Billy Sickles in the end zone for the first score. The Spinners were confident until the D.C. Current made a push of their own – a scary comeback for the Spinners and Philadelphia fans alike. The Current tied the game and eventually took the lead over the Spinners. D.C. offense fought long and hard to rack up their three points of the quarter. As for the Spinners, they put up a hard fight in the first quarter, but the Current prevailed as the clock hit zero and the score read 3-2.
The Spinners, not used to being down, began the second quarter with a bit of a shaky point. The Current capitalized a Spinners turn early in the second, resulting in the team’s first multipoint deficit of the season, 2-4. Then, Sickles brought in his second goal of the game along with another by Greg Martin to tie up the score up yet again. It wasn’t until after D.C. upped their score to 5-4 that the Spinners realized they needed a new strategy.
At that point, Spinners Coach Darryl Stanley gathered the players and offered them some advice. “When I saw that the Spinners were down by two points for the first time this season, it was a little scary,” said the Spinners’ coach. “So, I gave the offense and the defense some advice with the hopes that they would turn the game around. I encouraged the offense to maintain the mentality of getting their hands on the disc whenever they could, but to make that cut while communicating. To us, communication is key and that should be the first thing on our mind rather than just going for the disc. That communication worked out in our favor as offense got a little bit tighter and we pulled off the four-goal streak. As for the defense, I felt like D.C. was doing a really good job of attaching the high side and were using the wind to their advantage. Having realized that, I encouraged our D-line to adjust our marks by about 45 degrees to make the around throws to the high side very difficult.”
The advice of Philadelphia’s rookie coach worked as the straegy kicked in with around four minutes left on the clock for the half. Rookie <a style="color: #346094;" href="http://philadelphia.spinners.mlultimate view it now.com/player/?pid=1549″>Mike Arcata started a team wide scoring streak to ignite the Spinner’s spirit and leave D.C. trailing behind. It began with an assist from Matt Glazer to Arcata for the first of the four-goal streak. The following scoring efforts were made possible by assists from Isaiah Bryant to Martin and Tom O’Connor, and an assist from O’Connor to Brice Dunn. By the end of the half, the Spinners were right where they wanted to be – in the lead with a score of 9-6
At the start of the second half, the Current walked back onto the field with the three point deficit in mind. The Spinners started the third quarter off with the sun in their eyes and a nice first pull from Matt Esser. Just 17 seconds into the 3rd, D.C. one again managed to start the scoring. After recieving the disc and working it downfield, the Spinners fell victim to a low throw by Glazer, turning to disc right on their own goal line. As D.C. picked up the disc, the momentum seemed to shift as they looked to close the gap to just a single goal.
Then, it happened – an exhilarating callahan by David Brandolph. The play had the crowd on their feet and the Spinners went wild as their score hit double digits. The play certainly set the tone for the second half as the Spinners were in control throughout. Philadelphia’s defense was on fire thanks to some incredible blocks by Dunn and Esser, causing the Current to record only four goals throughout. As the third quarter came to a close, the Spinners had to give their fans a show when Michael Panna found Glazer, sneaking in another goal as as the clock hit zero.
The Spinners defense held on as Philadelphia never let D.C. within four points during the 4th quarter. Philadelphia even built a seven point lead thanks to a smooth assist from Ethan Peck to Panna in the end zone. The Current put up a good fight during the last four minutes of the game though as their offense went into overdrive. The D.C. team had managed to score an astonishing six goals in the final four minutes of the game while granting the Spinners just three. However, despite D.C.’s scoring streak, the Spinners had created enough of a gap in scoring that they won 20-16!
The Spinners were thrilled as they walked off the field with their sixth win of the season under their belt. Was this a win against the D.C. what Philadelphia needed after their last game against the Boston to boost team morale?
“It was a hard loss a couple weeks ago because we never want to go down. Who does?” admitted Coach Stanley. “Now, I’m in the frame of mind that by going down, it made us look inside of ourselves and our plays on how we can improve. We did have a bit of a scare at the beginning of this game when we had fallen behind a little, but that gave us an opportunity to change our strategy up a bit. In the midst of the struggle, our guys might have been thinking, ‘Well, Coach keeps saying this is going to solve it, but is this play really going to solve it? Should we really do this?’ I think that by feeling that adversity and taking a chance, they really worked together to pull through. This game turned into one of the most difficult games all season, but that’s what we needed. We needed a difficult game that ended with a win that we worked hard for.”
The final Spinners scorers of the game were: Spinners veterans Glazer, Himalaya Mehta, and Sickles with three goals each, Martin and Dunn with two goals each, and Panna, Peck, Brandolph, O’Connor, Arcata, Esser, and Patrick Lindsey with a goal apiece. Aside from all the players scoring, fans applaud the multiple outstanding assists from the following players: Panna and Peck with three assists each, and Glazer, Brandolph, O’Connor, and Bryant with two assists apiece as well. And finally, the team and fans recognize Dunn and Esser for their superb D-line efforts throughout the game. Dunn totaled three blocks, while Esser totaled two. These were five crucial blocks that ensured the Spinners win against the Current!
Next weekend the D.C. Current has some time off while the Spinners are going head to head once more for revenge against Boston Whitecaps. Don’t miss out on the game at Carey Stadium in Fort Washington, P.A. at 4 P.M. If you can’t make it to the field, be sure to tune in to MLU Live to watch the top two teams in league play!