In their return to FAU Stadium, the Launch prepare to take on the Ohio Machine this Saturday, July 7 in the first of two back-to-back matchups against the reigning MLL Champions. After falling 18-13 to the Machine in a semifinal showdown during last year’s MLL playoffs, the Launch seek redemption on home turf.
The last time the teams met, the Launch sat in fourth place on the MLL leaderboard while the Machine established a dominate place at the top of the leaderboards, moving into the playoffs as the overall favorite to win the Steinfeld Trophy. For the Launch, midfield Connor Buczek led the team in scoring with six points off two goals and four assists. All-Star attackmen Kieran McArdle and Dylan Molloy each earned four points in the loss against the Machine, with McArdle tallying four goals and Molloy collected three goals and an assist. In the cage, Austin Kaut stopped 12 of the 29 shots-on-goal. Defensively, Alec Tulett collected two groundballs and forced two turnovers in his first postseason appearance, while veterans Michael Unterstein and Tucker Durkin combined for a total eight groundballs.
With the All-Star break behind them, the Launch look ahead to the next four weeks with playoffs in mind. Currently sitting at 4-6, the Launch are tied with the Atlanta Blaze and sit just behind the New York Lizards in MLL standings. As they enter this weekend, they hope to best the last-place Machine in back-to-back weekends before hosting the Blaze and traveling to Dallas to close out the season.
In honor of the Fourth of July holiday, the Launch hope to continue the festivities into the weekend with a Salute to Our Heroes night. As the Launch take on the Machine on the field, the Launch will be honoring military members, first responders, medical professionals, and educators in the South Florida community. With activations hosted by the Army recruiting office and the Delray Beach Police Department prior to the game, the activities begin at 5:30 when gates open for fans.
Immediately following the conclusion of the game, country music artist JessLee will take the stage for a free postgame concert for all fans in attendance.
If you cannot make it out to watch the action live, tune into LaxSportsNetwork for a free live-stream of the Launch-Machine rematch.