The Florida Launch played host to the New York Lizards on Friday, June 26 at FAU Stadium; taking down the top team in the league with a 16-12 victory. With the win the Launch improves to 2-8 while New York falls to 8-2.
Kieran McArdle, the Coca-Cola Player of the Game, paced the Launch with four goals and one assist for five points, the same numbers he had the last time the Lizards came to town. Casey Powell also had five points with two goals and three assists. Steven Brooks provided three goals in the win while Connor Buczek had a career-high three points.
Making their Launch debuts, Nicky Galasso and Jovan Miller both scored goals with Miller also having an assist.
The 16 goals scored are the most the Launch has ever scored versus the Lizards, as they scored 11 goals in each of the previous three meetings.
After surrendering the opening goal of the game off a shot from Jo-Jo Marasco, rookie Connor Buczek became the Florida Launch’s all-time leading two-point scorer with a goal from beyond the arc to put the home side up 2-1. New York knotted up the score 2-2 with a goal from Mike Stone almost four minutes later. Florida was able to retake the lead off a goal from Steven Brooks, but New York responded with a pair of goals from Ryan Walsh and Rob Pannell 10 seconds apart to go up 4-3. With less than a minute left in the opening frame the Lizards added another goal from Marasco to extend their lead to two at 5-3 before Jovan Miller scored his first career Launch goal with a two-point bomb to tie the game with 20 seconds before the end of the quarter.
For the second-straight quarter New York drew first blood, taking a one-point advantage. Over three minutes later Galasso scored the equalizer goal off an assist from Kieran McArdle, who put the Launch up 7-6 with a goal 50 seconds later. New York responded with Marasco scoring another goal to tie the score again. With under-five to play in the half, Buczek found the back of the net for the second time to give the Launch the one point advantage again followed by McArdle who scored his second goal of the night with just over two minutes left in the half to give the Launch a two-point advantage. As halftime approached Powell scored a buzzer beater, giving the home squad a three-point lead heading into the locker with a 10-7 score.
New York came out firing in the third quarter with back-to-back goals from Marasco and Michael Skudin to cut the Launch lead to one at 10-9, and tied it up 90 seconds later from a Walsh goal. The Launch were able to end the Lizard’s 3-0 run and retake the lead thanks to McArdle’s third goal of the night, it was the first Launch goal of the second half coming 10:56 into the third stanza.
In the final frame, New York did what it had done all night; score the first goal of a quarter off a shot from Ned Crotty. McArdle put the Launch back up one in the second minute of the quarter for his fourth goal of the night. Powell added to the lead with his second goal of the night, followed by Cameron Lao-Gosney to extend the lead to 14-11. Florida was not done adding to the lead, as Brooks scored back-to-back goals to put the Launch up five at 16-11. New York ended the 5-0 run with a goal from Walsh, but it was not enough to spark a comeback. The Launch closes out its three-game home stand next Friday, July 3, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are still available by clicking here or calling (561) 923-9067.