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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]

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

Contents

Franchise historyEdit

2014-2016: New beginningsEdit

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 breakthroughEdit

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-seasonEdit

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 seasonEdit

See: 2018 Florida Launch season

RosterEdit

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

Head coaching historyEdit

# 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- 28 13 15 .464 1 0 1 .000

Award winnersEdit

MLL Collegiate DraftEdit

First round selectionsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  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 linksEdit