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Launch Fall Late to Rattlers in Home Finale

Written by Lee Roggenburg on . Posted in .
via the Launch web site  
Author’s Note:  Two depleted rosters met on Saturday.  For the Launch the Thompsons, Lyle and Miles, were not available, and Steve Pontrello did not dress in favor of Casey Powell playing his final home game.  Rochester was missing top players due to injuries; Jordan Wolf, Mike Manley, Jesse King, John LoCascio and Jordan MacIntosh.  In a game seen far too often this season the Launch were not able to put 60 minutes together and fell to the Rattlers due to a 9-1 run by Rochester over the last 20 minutes of the game.  The defense broke down for only a few minutes but those minutes coincided with the time following a run that had put the Launch up 8-5 midway through the third period and killed the momentum the Launch had worked to gain. It’s too bad that Casey Powell’s home career had to end with a loss but there was a silver lining in that the American Cancer Society Launch uniform auction went very well as I believe over $5,000 was raised from the auction.  As the season comes to an end on Saturday we can only look back at what could have been.  The most competitive season in MLL history shows 7 teams still battling for the four playoff positions and it would have been a boost for the franchise if the Launch would have been one of them. A side note for trivia fans . . . Rochester’s Cooper Stefaniak accomplished the Daily Double of playing two games in Palm Beach County this year, one for the MLL team and one as captain of the Hobart team that played Cornell in February.  A neat little accomplishment! I join with all Launch fans in wishing Casey the best in his new position at Jacksonville along with Rattler goalie John Galloway, who I was able to spend some time with too this weekend.  Both are looking forward to taking the Dolphin program to national prominence.  Which brings up an interesting question I will ask MLL home office . . . since the Launch coaches also have head coaching stints in Florida and therefore will have recruiting interaction with Coach Galloway concerning their players does MLL need to evolve tampering rules, assuming John will continue his stint with MLL next season?  Just a little thing to ponder.
  The Florida Launch fell to the Rochester Rattlers Saturday in the team and Casey Powell’s home finale. The Launch were led by three points from both Owen Blye and Steven Brooks. Following the game, Powell treated the fans to a heartfelt goodbye as he will take the reigns as an assistant coach with Jacksonville University at season’s end. The first half of play was a low scoring affair as both teams took time to get going offensively. Rochester opened scoring with a three goal spree before Florida responded. The Launch ended the first quarter with a two score run beginning with Steven Brooks’ footwork opening enough room for the veteran to net his first of the night. Owen Blye followed suit with a run from behind the net to put the score at 3-2 to end the second quarter. The second quarter was a similarly low scoring period as both teams combined for just three goals. The Rattlers’ were penalized for us of an illegal stick which gave way to a Florida powerplay. Kieran McArdle took advantage of the man up opportunity with a solo effort ending with a diving shot to net his first goal. Rochester answered back soon after to take the one point lead but it was Connor Buczek’s deep range that leveled the score. Buczek shot from two-point range but with his foot on the line, the score counted for one to end the second quarter all tied up at 4-4. Scoring picked up in the second half with Rochester opening the scoring. Brooks fired back to hit a two-point goal, sparking a run for Florida. Jeremy Thompson followed up the effort to put the Launch up further. McArdle scored another to extend the Launch lead before the Rattlers took control. A four goal run for the visitors pushed Florida back into trailing. Heading into the final quarter, the score sat at 9-8 in the Rattlers’ favor. The fourth quarter saw a barrage of goals as the Rattlers’ outscored the Launch 5-1. The lone score of the quarter for the Launch came as Connor Buczek forced his way inside to net a goal. The Launch look to regain momentum after the 14-9 heading into next week’s road matchup in what will be the last game of the season. The Launch return to action to face the Boston Cannons on the road next Saturday, August 6. For live updates of the game follow @florida_launch on Twitter.