By Rachel Villari | 5/16/14 12:00 PM
Florida Launch at Chesapeake Bayhawks
Saturday, May 17 – 7:00 p.m. (ET) – Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
The Florida Launch (2-1) take to the road in hopes of securing their first win away from FAU Stadium against the struggling Chesapeake Bayhawks (1-2).
Last Time Out:
Florida: The Launch took their second consecutive win last weekend, defeating the Ohio Machine 10-9 in an extremely close game. The Launch jumped early and were able to secure four goals in the first quarter, endure a dip in offensive production, and then battle back in the final fifteen to secure the win.
Chesapeake: The Bayhawks lost their second game of the season against the Charlotte Hounds 12-7 after a grueling rain delay last Saturday. Chesapeake barely made their way onto the board, held at seven goals by a stifling Charlotte defense and a relentless offense.
Up, Up and Away: The Florida Launch have had home field advantage for their first three games as a team this season, but will take to the road to test their luck in Annapolis, Md. this Saturday for their first away game. Since most Launch players are Maryland based and commute to Florida every weekend to play, however, this shouldn’t pose as too big of a hurdle for the new team to clear. Head Coach Stan Ross thinks it may be even easier for players to arrive early enough for a full team practice the night before given majority of his roster’s proximity to the city.
Home Field Advantage: The Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium packs upwards of 8,500 Bayhawks fans and there’s no doubt the team is hoping to feed off of their energy to guarantee a jump in their start this weekend. The Bayhawks have earned their only victory of the season thus far at home in Week 2, taking the game 12-11 against the New York Lizards.
Points for Powell: With his hat trick against the Machine last Saturday, Powell is now three points away from reclaiming first place on the League leaderboard with 421 career points over a decade in the MLL. Neck-and-neck with Boston Cannons’ Ryan Boyle, who has 424 points, Powell is looking to have a breakthrough season with ten goals and six assists already.
Players to Watch:
Florida: Members of the Launch have claimed two out of three Warrior Player of the Week Awards so far this season. Garrett Thul won the honors in Week 2 after helping the Launch to their first win of their inaugural season with a hat trick, the final tally of which was the game-winning goal. Casey Powell won the award in Week 3 after the team’s second victory, in which he scored five goals. Look for both attackman to continue their offensive barrage this weekend.
Chesapeake: The Bayhawks have had a slow start to the season, but are hoping to work with their lineup to create good opportunities. Brendan Mundorf has been all over the field, already accumulating 10 points with goals and assists in every game. Goaltender Kip Turner made an impressive 17 saves last Saturday, even in a loss. CJ Costabile, who was recently acquired from the New York Lizards played his first game last week, and should be finding his niche within the offensive lineup. Jesse Bernhardt may also be returning to the field this weekend.
Florida: Powell leads the team in goals and assists with ten and sixteen respectively. For perspective, second on the team in points, is midfielder Josh Amidon with five. In three games played, goaltender Brett Queener is tied for third in the league with his well-earned .609 save percentage.
Chesapeake: With his ubiquity on the field, Mundorf currently leads the Bayhawks and is tied for fourth in the League with 10 points. He also leads the team in goals with six. In three games played, goaltender Kip Turner has earned a .625 save percentage.
2013 Season Series:
This is the first meeting between the two teams.