By Natalie Johnson | 6/27/14 3:30 PM
Chesapeake Bayhawks at Florida Launch
Saturday, June 28 — 7:00 PM ET — FAU Stadium
Both Chesapeake (2-6) and Florida (4-4) are coming off of tough losses to high-quality opponents, so they’ll each be looking to get back on track this week in a game that could set the tone for the rest of the season.
Last Time Out
Chesapeake: The Bayhawks had 34 shots on goal last week against Denver, but they were victim to Jesse Schwartzman’s best game of the season, and ultimately fell to the Outlaws 9-6. It wasn’t all bad news, as Chesapeake did outscore Denver in the final two quarters, and held the Outlaws to their lowest point total of the season. Joe Walters and Peet Poillon led Chesapeake with one goal and one assist each. The Bayhawks continued to struggle at the X, winning just 6 of 18 face offs.
Florida: The Launch entered halftime of last week’s game tied with Rochester, but were outpaced 9-4 in the second half and lost by a final score of 18-13. Jordan Hall led Florida with four points, while Kieran McArdle and Casey Powell each recorded two goals and one assist. Chris Mattes had one of his best games of the season, going 18-for-28 at the X. Florida killed off all four of their penalties, while converting one of two man-up advantages themselves.
Trading Stars: One of the biggest trades of the offseason involved these two teams, as Chesapeake sent Casey Powell to the Launch in exchange for Joe Walters. The trade has played out well for both teams, especially Florida, as Powell leads the team in every major offensive category. Although Walters wasn’t available for MLL action until Week 6, he has already jumped into the Bayhawks’ team lead with seven assists, and has proven to be an important veteran leader.
Trouble with the Net: The Bayhawks are last in the league with just 77 goals scored this season, which is a major reason why they have just two wins. It might not get much easier this week, as Brett Queener is second among all goalies with a .559 save percentage.
At the X: Neither team has been particularly outstanding at the X this season. Florida ranks 5th in the league with a .484 face off winning percentage, while Chesapeake is last with a .377 face off winning percentage. That being said, Florida’s Chris Mattes is coming off of one of his best games of the season, so look to see if he can carry that momentum into Week 9.
Players to Watch
Chesapeake: After starting goalie Kip Turner left last week’s game with a broken thumb, Tyler Fiorito had an outstanding second half, recording nine saves while holding the explosive Denver Outlaws to just two goals. If Fiorito is called on in Turner’s absence again, look for him to be a strong presence in the net.
Florida: Jordan Hall continues to be an important piece of the puzzle for Florida offensively. He leads Launch midfielders with 6 assists, and is coming off a season-high 4-point game. If Chesapeake focuses on containing Powell and McArdle, watch out for Hall to have another huge game.
Chesapeake: Attackman Brendan Mundorf leads the Bayhawks with 17 goals and 23 points, while Joe Walters has a team-high seven assists, despite playing in just three games this season. Matt Abbott leads the team with 26 ground balls, and Kip Turner has 101 saves in the net.
Florida: Casey Powell leads the Launch with 37 points and 20 assists. He is also the team leader in goals (17), although Kieran McArdle is a close second, with 16 goals. Chris Mattes has a team-high 49 ground balls. Brett Queener, who has appeared in every game for the Launch, has recorded 109 saves.
2014 Season Series:
When these two teams met in Week 4, it was the Launch who were victorious by a score of 15-12. The game felt closer than the final score suggests, as the Bayhawks went on an 8-2 run in the final 17 minutes, but Florida was able to hold on for the win.
The Bayhawks have used a league-high eight different players at the X this season.
Florida’s Kieran McArdle is the only rookie within the league’s top 15 point scorers this season.
If you’re going to FAU Stadium to cheer on the Launch, make sure to grab these sweet socks. They’re custom printed with the Florida Launch logo, and are the perfect way to show your team spirit. Get yours here or by clicking the image to the right.