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Highlights of Launch Coach Tom Mariano’s MLL Weekly Press Conference

Written by Lee Roggenburg on . Posted in .
  Note – every week MLL holds a Coaches press conference titled Press Pass on the Lax Sports Network, on Wednesdays.  I try to listen in on the segments each week and this week Coach Mariano’s segment covered the following: The first part centered on the comeback against Atlanta and how the team still is searching for that elusive 60-minute game.  The goal is also to start strong and finish strong . . . while the team has finished very strong the past three games, but did not start strong in all of them.  He added that although many of the goals were unassisted the team was doing a much better job of movement off the ball that helped create the spacing needed for those dodging goals.  Kieran McArdle’s break out game this season also came up in the discussion. The talk then turned to the defensive side of the ball and how Coach Burdick’s game plan on defense was not executed properly in the first half but the players adjusted to it properly in the second half, hence the ability to hold Atlanta to only two second half goals.  He noted (and I agree strongly) that the turning point of the game was likely Austin Kaut’s early second half save on Mark Matthews from in close and that after that Kaut settled down and the defense took flight. He was asked about Dylan Molloy’s adjustment to the league and how Molloy is not looking to be the dominant ball carrier but wants to fit into the overall scheme . . . the wording was ‘a piece of the pie, not the whole thing’.  This is something that I see throughout the lineup . . . allowing the game come to them instead of trying to force things, and looking to maximize match-up opportunities.  when you watch the last three games you are struck by how often an attackman gets to isolate on a short stick. This week’s opponent Charlotte was then brought up. Coach Mariano highlighted the issue of who wins the match-up between Charlotte’s attack versus the Launch’s defense and also how important it will be to neutralize the Hound’s FOGO Brendan Fowler.  Will Gural was not dressed last week and Coach Mariano described it as giving him the week off after Gural had to battle Greg Gurenlian on back to back weekends.  Chris Mattes had to take 26 first half faceoffs against Atlanta and that did stretch the limits, and that he will look towards match-ups going forward. The end of the segment touched on the 3-game winning streak, giving credit to the players and staff buying into the new vision he wanted the team to have as well as praising the leadership in the locker room and his coaching staff.