Florida Launch

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Florida Launch
Florida Launch.png
Founded2014
Folded2019
LeagueMLL
Based inBoca Raton, Florida
StadiumFAU Stadium
ColorsBlue, gold, white
              
OwnerJim Davis
Head coachTom Mariano
General managerTom Mariano

The Florida Launch were 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 until 2019. The team played its home games at Florida Atlantic University Stadium.[1] The team was owned by Jim Davis, founder and chairman of New Balance, an early investor in the MLL.[2]

Franchise history[edit]

2014-2016: New beginnings[edit]

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[edit]

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] Molloy, originally from Long Island, boasted record break numbers at Brown University. 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]

The next season, the Launch were not able to replicate their success. Despite getting off to a 2-1 start including a dominating 16-7 win over the eventual champion Denver Outlaws, the team finished the season with a disappointing 5-9 record. Dylan Molloy led the team in goals with 41. [15]

Season-by-season[edit]

Florida Launch
Year W L % Regular season finish Playoffs
2014 5 9 .357 7th in league Didn't Qualify
2015 5 9 .357 7th in league Didn't Qualify
2016 3 11 .214 9th in league Didn't Qualify
2017 8 6 .571 3rd in league Lost semifinal vs. Ohio Machine, 18-13
2018 5 9 .357 8th in league Didn't qualify
Totals 26 44 .371 Total Playoff Record 0-1 (.000)

Current season[edit]

See: 2018 Florida Launch season

Roster[edit]

2018 Florida Launch
Number Player's Name Nationality Position Height Weight College
0 Patrick Resch United States M 6 ft 3 in 200 lb Duke
1 PT Ricci United States D 5 ft 10 in 195 lb Loyola
2 Ryan Drenner United States M 6 ft 0 in 185 lb Towson
4 Dylan Molloy United States A 6 ft 0 in 220 lb Brown
5 Tyler Warner United States SSDM 6 ft 0 in 200 lb Yale
6 Kieran McArdle United States A 6 ft 1 in 175 lb St. John's
7 Jules Heningburg United States A 6 ft 2 in 185 lb Rutgers
8 Michael Rexrode United States D 6 ft 0 in 180 lb Rutgers
9 Tim Barber United States M 5 ft 10 in 192 lb Syracuse
12 Jack Concannon United States G 6 ft 2 in 200 lb Hofstra
14 Austin Kaut United States G 6 ft 1 in 200 lb Penn State
20 Connor Buczek United States M 6 ft 2 in 190 lb Cornell
21 Michael Tagliaferri United States M 6 ft 0 in 205 lb North Carolina
23 Nick Mariano United States M 6 ft 0 in 181 lb Syracuse
25 Alec Tulett Canada D 6 ft 3 in 185 lb Brown
30 Michael Noone United States D 6 ft 3 in 205 lb Lehigh
37 Ben Williams United States FO 5 ft 11 in 192 lb Syracuse
43 Mark Mcneill United States M 6 ft 4 in 215 lb North Carolina
44 Steven Brooks United States M 6 ft 1 in 190 lb Syracuse
51 Tucker Durkin United States D 6 ft 2 in 210 lb Johns Hopkins
55 Bryan Cole Canada M 6 ft 3 in 190 lb Maryland
77 Mike Unterstein United States M 5 ft 11 in 195 lb Hofstra
88 Jarrod Neumann United States D 6 ft 4 in 205 lb Providence
91 Luke Duprey United States D 6 ft 5 in 210 lb Duke
  • updated 2018-07-16

Head coaching history[edit]

# Name Term Regular Season Playoffs
GC W L W% GC W L W%
1 Stan Ross 2014-2016 42 13 29 .310 - - - -
2 Tom Mariano 2017-2018 28 13 15 .464 1 0 1 .000

Award winners[edit]

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[edit]

First round selections[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MLL places team in Florida" (Press release). Major League Lacrosse. November 21, 2013. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
  2. ^ Wagner, Bill (July 19, 2017). "Bayhawks owner likes team, future of MLL". Capital Gazette. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Major League Lacrosse finally lands its long-desired South Florida franchise". Sun-Sentinel. November 22, 2013. Retrieved November 26, 2013.
  4. ^ "MLL Places Team in Florida". Major League Lacrosse. November 21, 2013. Retrieved November 26, 2013.
  5. ^ "Florida Launch lacrosse team rockets into fans' hearts". tribunedigital-sunsentinel. Retrieved 2016-06-08.
  6. ^ "Florida Launch ignites to first pro lacrosse win". tribunedigital-sunsentinel. Retrieved 2016-06-08.
  7. ^ Florida Launch accept resignation of head coach Stan Ross
  8. ^ Florida Launch Hire Tom Mariano
  9. ^ Florida Launch announce 2017 schedule
  10. ^ "Major League Lacrosse, Florida Launch to Play Two Games in Central Florida". Florida Launch. Retrieved 2017-05-09.
  11. ^ Dylan Molloy No. 1 to Launch
  12. ^ Florida at Boston boxscore
  13. ^ Florida Launch clinch playoff berth
  14. ^ Florida Launch fall to Ohio Machine in first playoff appearance
  15. ^ Florida Launch team leaders
  16. ^ "2014 Collegiate Draft Results". Major League Lacrosse. Retrieved 2016-06-08.
  17. ^ "2015 Collegiate Draft Results". Major League Lacrosse. Retrieved 2016-06-08.

External links[edit]