via Launch web site
A dominant first 50 minutes followed by an awful last 10 gave the Boston Cannons the win. Boston needed to win and get help from other results but afterwards it was for naught as Boston did not make the playoffs. Again, just another example of the frustration of the season as the Launch were not able to put away a game they thoroughly controlled. As you might expect from a season like this the turning point came on an unusual play . . . goalie Austin Kaut, after making another save, took off with the ball on a clear with a 10-6 lead with about 10 minutes left. The Cannon ride managed to force the ball out of bounds with Kaut well away from the goal. A quick re-start allowed Boston to fire home a two-pointer by Justin Turri from distance into the open goal and that completely turned the momentum around. Three goals in a minute and a half gave Boston the lead with 3:42 left in the game and the Launch failed to convert any late possessions.
Casey Powell, in his last game, chipped in 2 goals and an assist in the first half to help the Launch gain the lead, but did not play a lot in the second half, so his career comes to an end with this disappointing loss. For 50 minutes the defense was terrific. Although Kaut was called upon to make a number of tough saves there was definitely less of them to make this game than in previous ones as the team defense gave Boston few openings. It would be easy to blame defensive breakdowns for the last ten minutes but the offense was particularly stagnant in the fourth and a few more goals in the fourth would likely have kept Boston from fully getting back in the game. Kieran McArdle put up four goals in the losing effort but Owen Blye was held scoreless on 6 shot attempts. Again, neither of the Thompson brothers played, limiting offensive options. Steven Brooks chipped in a goal and an assist and Connor Buczek was able to put up two early goals.
This will certainly be an active offseason for the Launch as they can not come into next season hoping the 3-11 record of this season is solely the impact of travel schedules, practice issues and bad luck. Certainly there was more than their fair share of that this year but that is just a fact of life right now. I’ll be doing an updated version of the Opinion article I wrote earlier and go into where the Launch improved from that point and where I see further work to do.
For now, let’s just put this season behind and look forward to the changes that do occur. I’d like to thank all the members of the Launch for the time and availability to observe I was given for this year and the last 3 years. All 3 coaches are also local high school head coaches and I have the utmost respect for all of them and look forward to the upcoming high school season. The Launch front office was always accommodating to me and they really deserve a big thank you from not just me but the fans of the team too. Attendance was well ahead of last year’s on a game by game basis and the desire to watch great lacrosse continues to grow in this area. Keep caring and keep coming out and one day we’ll have to plan where to have the ticker tape parade.
The Florida Launch fell in their season finale to the Boston Cannons Saturday on the road. The Launch were led by Kieran McArdle’s five points and Casey Powell’s three points. The game marks Powell’s final time in a Launch uniform after three season with the club as he is retiring to become an assistant coach on the collegiate level.
In the first quarter, both teams struggled to find rhythm early as the opening five minutes passed without a goal. Boston netted their first goal to begin the night’s scoring just before the ten minute mark. Connor Buczek put the Launch on track as he evened the game with the team’s first goal. The Cannons responded quickly as they posted two more scores. Buczek continued to lead the charge when he scored another goal on a free play as a result of a tripping penalty. With the Launch trailing by one, Powell showed off some classic moves with a diving shot to tie the game at quarter’s end 3-3.
At the top of the second quarter, the Florida defense kept Boston quiet with strong defensive plays from the long poles. Tucker Durkin, Matt Landis, and Liam Byrnes were disruptive to the Cannons’ offense as they were able to sneak in just one goal during the second period. Boston opened scoring but were held scoreless as goals rained in from Powell, McArdle, and Steven Brooks. Goalie Austin Kaut’s aggression between the pipes translated into many opportunities for the Launch as they led at halftime 7-4.
Kaut’s intensity paced the Launch in the early part of the second half as Boston was held scoreless until nearly six minutes of clock expired. McArdle broke the scoring drought for both teams as he went for back-to-back goals — his third and fourth of the night. Boston finally answered as they hit two goals to make the score 9-6 entering the final quarter.
The fourth quarter proved to be Boston’s best as their offense came alive near the end. Florida’s standout rookie Steve Pontrello curled the crease and netted his first of the game just one minute into play. After a stellar game from Kaut, an unlucky play resulted in him out of the came and a Boston two-point goal to narrow the gap to just two scores. The final five minutes was the most tense stretch of play as the Cannons took the one goal lead late in the game. The deficit was just one score but proved to be too much in too little time as the Launch drop the road game 11-10.
The Florida Launch end the season in Boston and will once again return home to play next season at FAU Stadium. The Launch would like to thank the fans, players, and staff for another season of lacrosse in South Florida. Stay tuned to the Launch on social media for news, updates, and more this offseason!