Photo by Kevin Leclaire – UltiPhotos.com
The New York Rumble (2-4) faced off against the D.C. Current (5-1) at home after a crushing defeat in D.C. last week. In their second outing, the Rumble continued their losing streak as they lost 27-18.
The Current picked up where they left off after last week’s dominant win against New York. The game was close at the end of the first quarter with D.C. leading 4-3, but D.C. would create multiple break opportunities to go up 14-7 at the half. The Rumble could not overcome the difference and fell in their second-straight rout to their Eastern Conference rivals.
After losing 28-15 last week, the Rumble expected to welcome D.C. with a hard fought day of Ultimate. The first quarter backed up this intention with both teams playing fast-paced points, with a few turnovers forced. Marques Brownlee deflected a D.C. pass and later received the bookends score on a Joe Anderson hammer to tie the game at 3-3. The first quarter would end with the Rumble only behind 4-3.
The second quarter had a much different style in D.C.’s favor. The Rumble rushed throws and D.C. capitalized with seven consecutive goals to put them ahead 10-4 at one point. Isaac Saul broke the Rumble’s drought with a long throw to Dave Vuckovich for their fourth score.
“We came out with more energy than last week but didn’t execute in the first half. We didn’t put a complete game together,” said Vuckovich, who had three goals and two assists on the day. “Our approach on offense was ‘less talking, more doing.’ Try to make it natural, go out and play.”
While the Rumble had many turnovers, the Current also did not play perfectly and turned the disc over multiple times. However, they repeatedly relied on the strengths of Alan Kolick, Markham Shofner and Tom Doi to disallow the Rumble any room to cut into the lead.
Down 14-7 to start the third quarter, Ben Faust sent a long huck to Quinn Hunziker for the Rumble’s eighth goal. Faust found him again when Hunziker laid out after D.C. tried knocking the disc away. These points, two of Hunziker’s four on the day, would keep the Rumble as close as 15-9.
“We came out flat in the first half,” Hunziker said after the game. “We have to work on things that we should be doing in the first place.”
Hunziker’s reserved frustration spoke of the Rumble’s turnover woes dating back to last season. Their errors would continue for the rest of the game.
The Rumble had some poor reads on defense that gave D.C. an 18-10 lead. On the following possession, the Rumble sent a low score to Hunziker who made the fingertip catch before his right hand was buried under his body’s momentum. He would give the Rumble their eleventh point but did not return to the game.
Saul continued to have a steady game with six assists, one to Vuckovich to trail 19-12. With nine Rumble players injured or inactive for the game, Saul stepped up as the lead handler. He made smarter throws than in weeks past, but it wasn’t enough to prevent New York from falling to 2-4.
The Current’s end zone defense was excellent against the Rumble. On a Rumble drive that would end with Lucas Murphy finding Matt Baum for a score, the Current forced 22 Rumble passes before they could find the end zone. Later in the fourth quarter the Current’s end zone defense forced the Rumble to make 14 passes before an incomplete pass sealed their 27-18 loss.
“What happened the last two weeks is mental. The Current aren’t shutting us down. We have unforced errors and that creates a lack of confidence,” said New York Assistant Coach Webster McBride.
“We had a hangover from a bad beating a week ago. We’ve gotten off to bad starts and force ourselves to fight back after going down early. We need to mentally prepare for full speed. Unforced errors need cleaning. We need better spacing in offense between handlers and cutters. Our defense after turnovers needs to be aggressive. We’re pleased that we corrected some things. We had a respectable second half. We’re encouraged but still disappointed in the loss.”
The Rumble look to end their losing streak when they travel to Boston next Saturday, May 24. This is the Eastern Conference Game of the Week and will be livestreamed on MLU Live.