The Florida Launch will play their first playoff game in franchise history against the Ohio Machine in the first round of the Major League Lacrosse playoffs this Saturday, August 12. Face-off is set for 7:30 p.m. EST at Fortress Obetz in Obetz, Ohio.
For local Launch fans, there will be an official playoff game watch party at the Brass Tap (1198 N Dixie Hwy, Boca Raton, FL 33432). The event starts at 7 p.m. and will features, games, giveaways, and more. The game will also air live on Twitter (mll.twitter.com) and Lax Sports Network.
The MLL postseason teams, in order of seeding, are the Denver Outlaws (9-5), Machine (9-5), Launch (8-6), and Rochester Rattlers (8-6). With the Machine (No. 2) hosting the Launch (No. 3), the Outlaws (No. 1) are set to host the Rattlers (No. 4).
Florida looks to redeem itself against the Machine as they fell 19-7 in the only regular season meeting of the two sides. Since the defeat, the Launch have increased offensive production from 11 goals per game before the loss to 14.75.
Fourth-year attackman Kieran McArdle has been on fire since making his season debut against the Machine as he currently leads the Launch with 46 points in 10 games. Fellow veteran Connor Buczek is currently tied for second in two-point goals with four long-range scores. Buczek finished the regular season with 30 points.
In addition to the veterans, No. 1 overall draft pick Dylan Molloy has lived up to the expectations thus far by posting 27 points in just eight appearances. Fellow rookies Ryan Drenner and Nick Mariano have been key figures in the attack with a combined 36 points since their debuts.
On the other side of the ball, the defense is led by team captain Tucker Durkin and goalie Austin Kaut. Durkin, a four-time All-MLL selection, has nine forced turnovers this season. Kaut, the current MLL leader in saves, has had a breakthrough year. The fourth-year goalie’s 256 saves ranks as the third best single-season mark in league history.
If the Launch win against the Machine, they will take on the winner of the Outlaws and Rattlers matchup on Saturday, August 19 in Frisco, Texas for the MLL Championship.