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PREVIEW: Charlotte at Florida

March 18, 2016
Charlotte Hounds at Florida Launch

Saturday, May 3 – 7:00 p.m. (EST) – FAU Stadium

WATCH: YouTube

Game Notes: Florida - Charlotte

The Charlotte Hounds and Florida Launch each search for their first win of the season in this Week 2 match-up.

Last time out:

Charlotte: The Hounds were held scoreless for over 20 minutes and could not recover as they lost their home and season opener 15-8 to the Ohio Machine. Matt White, Ryan Young and Joe Cummings each had two goals for Charlotte and Pierce Bassett made 12 saves in three quarters to take the loss. Charlotte went 0-for-2 with the man up and just 1-for-4 killing off penalties.

Florida: The Launch took off in the second half, but it wasn’t enough as they fell 14-10 in the team’s first-ever game. Casey Powell scored three goals and added three assists in a losing effort; while Brett Queener and Adam Fullerton each played a half to combine for 16 saves. Seven different Florida players registered at least a point in the game.

Three storylines:

License to Kill: Both teams have struggled mightily while down a man this season, as Florida failed to kill off a penalty in their opening game and Charlotte allowed the Machine to go 3-for-4 on the man up. Both of these teams have got to be better if they want to win this game or just stop taking penalties altogether.

Grounded: One of the reasons both of these teams lost last week was their failure to pick up loose balls. Denver had 36 GBs to Florida’s 21, while Ohio led Charlotte 31-26. The two teams really struggled at clearing the ball as well, with little to no transition game going in their losses.

Start Fast: The key to the Hounds playoff success last year was a quick start against Denver, but they got just the opposite against Ohio. Charlotte failed to score in the first quarter, largely contributing to their downfall. Meanwhile, Florida also failed to score in the first quarter and scored just once in the first half in their opening game. Whoever has the better start definitely has a leg up in this one.

Players to Watch:

Charlotte: Mike Sawyer had just one goal in the game against Ohio and it’ll be hard for Florida to hold him to that once again. Sawyer was held to one point or fewer just three times last year and after every one of those games he had a multi-point night.

Florida: In his first Major League Lacrosse game, Andrew Scalley scored twice and played an all-around strong game for the Launch. At times, Scalley was running the offense through X and moving the ball well. He’s someone under the radar that you’ll definitely have to keep an eye on.

Statistical Leaders:

Charlotte: Ryan Young leads the team with three points, while three players are tied for the team lead in goals with two. Ryan Flanagan heads the defense with six ground balls while Joe Cummings and Matt Danowski have seven shots each. Pierce Bassett played 45 of the 60 minutes and has a 12.00 goals against average to go along with his .571 save percentage.

Florida: The ageless Casey Powell leads the Launch in goals (3), assists (3) and points (6). Brett Queener played 30 minutes, posting a 20.00 goals against and .474 save percentage, while Adam Fullerton also played 30, posting a 6.00 goals against and a .700 save percentage.

2013 Season Series:

This is the first meeting between the two teams.

Fun Facts:

Charlotte: The Hounds lost back-to-back games just once all last season.

Florida: Peter Ricci was the only defenseman in the league to record an assist last week.

Heading to the Game?

It’s the first season for the Launch, so make sure you stack up on lots of merch. This sweet tee is just one of several you can get at the game tomorrow, or online in adult or youth sizes. If you’re not going to the game, hit up the MLL Shop and pick up your favorite team’s gear.

For those staying home, make sure to tune in to Major League Lacrosse’s YouTube channel at 7:00 p.m. (EST) as the Charlotte Hounds face off against the Florida Launch at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Fla.