Florida Launch

Florida Launch
League MLL
Founded 2014
Stadium FAU Stadium
Based in Boca Raton, Florida
Colors Blue, gold, white
              
Owner Jim Davis
General manager Tom Mariano
Head coach Tom Mariano
Steinfeld Cups None
Website floridalaunchlacrosse.com

The Florida Launch is a professional men's field lacrosse team based in Boca Raton, Florida. They joined Major League Lacrosse (MLL) as an expansion team for the 2014 season. The team plays its home games at Florida Atlantic University Stadium.[1] The team is owned by Jim Davis, founder and chairman of New Balance, an early investor in the MLL.[2]

Franchise history

2014-2016: New beginnings

In November 2013, MLL granted an expansion franchise to Palm Beach County, Florida for the 2014 MLL Season. The formation of the Launch coincides with the dissolution of the Hamilton Nationals, and former National players have become members of the inaugural Launch squad.[3] Former Denver Outlaws assistant Stan Ross was named as the team's first coach.

Ross faced his former team in the Launch's inaugural game on Saturday, April 26, 2014 in their home opener.[4] The Launch lost their first game to the Outlaws 14-10. Josh Amidon scored the first goal in franchise history.[5] The team's first victory came in their second game, an 11-8 win over the Charlotte Hounds.[6]

After coaching the Launch to a combined 13-29 record over their first three seasons, Ross resigned on November 17, 2016.[7] Tom Mariano, former assistant coach for the Chesapeake Bayhawks, was announced his replacement on December 7.[8]

2017: Playoff breakthrough

See also: 2017 Florida Launch season

When the 2017 schedule was announced on November 15, 2016, the Launch also announced that their first three homes games would be played at various cities in Florida as a part of their 2017 Florida Tour to grow the game of lacrosse throughout the state.[9] Due to field renovations at FAU Stadium finishing sooner than expected, the Launch scheduled the home opener on May 13, 2017 after playing two games at Spec Martin Stadium in DeLand, Fla.[10]

The Launch started the 2017 season with an unimpressive 2-3 record. On May 28, with the first pick in the year's collegiate draft, the Launch selected Dylan Molloy, attack from Brown University.[11] Following the pick, the Launch rattled off three straight victories, including two over the New York Lizards to match their franchise high for victories in a season with five (only eight games into the season). The Launch would then go on to lose three of their next four, including an embarrassing 17-4 defeat to the Atlanta Blaze.

On July 29, the Launch entered their last game of the season controlling their own postseason fate. At 7-6, they entered Harvard Stadium to play the last-place Boston Cannons, who defeated them in the first week of the season in overtime. The Launch controlled the game for over 37 minutes, scoring the first six goals of the game and led 16-6 more than midway into the third quarter. The tides turned quickly however, and the Cannons rattled off 11 straight goals to take a 17-16 lead with 8:43 remaining. The Launch were able to recover though. Kieran McArdle tied the game a minute and a half later, and rookie Nick Mariano won the game with a goal with less than five minutes to go.[12] The Launch would finally clinch their first postseason berth in team history with an 18-17 win over the feisty Cannons and head into the final week of the season with a bye.[13]

On August 12, the Launch played the Ohio Machine at Fortress Obetz in the team's first ever playoff appearance. Florida kept it close for much of the game, but the eventual-champion Machine were able to separate themselves and defeat the Launch, 18-13.[14]

Season-by-season

Florida Launch
YearWL%Regular season finishPlayoffs
201459.3577th in leagueDidn't Qualify
201559.3577th in leagueDidn't Qualify
2016311.2149th in leagueDidn't Qualify
201786.5713rd in leagueLost semifinal vs. Ohio Machine, 18-13
201859.3578th in leagueDidn't qualify
Totals2644.371Total Playoff Record 0-1 (.000)

    Current season

    See: 2018 Florida Launch season

    Roster

    2018 Florida Launch
    Number Player's Name Nationality Position Height Weight College
    0 Patrick Resch M 6 ft 3 in 200 lb Duke
    1PT RicciD5 ft 10 in195 lbLoyola
    2Ryan DrennerM6 ft 0 in185 lbTowson
    4 Dylan Molloy A 6 ft 0 in 220 lb Brown
    5Tyler WarnerSSDM6 ft 0 in200 lbYale
    6Kieran McArdleA6 ft 1 in175 lbSt. John's
    7Jules HeningburgA6 ft 2 in185 lbRutgers
    8Michael RexrodeD6 ft 0 in180 lbRutgers
    9Tim BarberM5 ft 10 in192 lbSyracuse
    12Jack ConcannonG6 ft 2 in200 lbHofstra
    14Austin KautG6 ft 1 in200 lbPenn State
    20Connor BuczekM6 ft 2 in190 lbCornell
    21Michael Tagliaferri M6 ft 0 in205 lbNorth Carolina
    23Nick MarianoM6 ft 0 in181 lbSyracuse
    25 Alec Tulett D 6 ft 3 in 185 lb Brown
    30 Michael Noone D 6 ft 3 in 205 lb Lehigh
    37Ben WilliamsFO5 ft 11 in192 lbSyracuse
    43Mark McneillM6 ft 4 in215 lbNorth Carolina
    44Steven BrooksM6 ft 1 in190 lbSyracuse
    51Tucker DurkinD6 ft 2 in210 lbJohns Hopkins
    55Bryan Cole M6 ft 3 in190 lbMaryland
    77Mike Unterstein M5 ft 11 in195 lbHofstra
    88Jarrod Neumann D6 ft 4 in205 lbProvidence
    91Luke Duprey D6 ft 5 in210 lbDuke
    • updated 2018-07-16

    Head coaching history

    # Name Term Regular Season Playoffs
    GC W L W% GC W L W%
    1Stan Ross2014-2016421329.310----
    2Tom Mariano2017-281315.464101.000

    Award winners

    Most Valuable Player

    Rookie of the Year

    • Kieran McArdle: 2014

    Coach of the Year

    Defensive Player of the Year

    Offensive Player of the Year

    MLL Collegiate Draft

    First round selections

    References

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