MLL Weekend Preview: Week 8
New York Lizards (2-3) at Florida Launch (3-3)
Saturday, 7:00 PM on Twitter
Storylines: After a 13-10 win over the Lizards last weekend, the Launch have a chance to sweep the season series in the backend of a home-and-home in the Twitter Game of the Week. After unveiling rookies Nick Mariano and Sergio Salcido in last week's win, the Launch may debut first-overall pick from the Collegiate Draft Dylan Molloy in this game. New York comes into Boca Raton looking to end a two-game losing streak and faceoff man Greg Gurenlian will get another chance to battle with first-year player Will Gural, who won 14 of his 26 draws against Gurenlian last week.
Players to watch: Goalie Austin Kaut earned Warrior Defensive Player of the Week last week thanks to his 21-save performance against the high-powered New York offense. He's one of the hottest goalies in the league and leads all MLL goalies with 116 saves this season. Joe Walters became the fourth player in league history to surpass 200 career assists and has at least three points in each of his last three games.
Boston Cannons (2-4) at Ohio Machine (4-2)
Saturday, 7:00 PM on LSN
Storylines: The Machine are riding a two-game winning streak and have scored 19 and 18 goals in those wins, respectively. They'll look for win No. 2 at Fortress Obetz after breaking through against Florida two weeks ago. The Cannons seemed to right the ship with a win over New York in Week 5, but took a step back with a 19-13 loss to Denver that saw the Cannons surrender seven goals in the fourth quarter.
Players to watch: Ohio's defenders have been a story all season long, limiting opponents to 10.17 goals per game this season. Moneyball Lacrosse highlights Matt McMahon, who has played a big role in that defensive corps. Max Seibald has been a serious threat from the perimeter for Boston since making his season debut on May 20 and leads the league with four two-point goals this season. He is the only player with multiple two-pointers in a single game.
Chesapeake Bayhawks (3-2) at Rochester Rattlers (3-3)
Saturday, 7:00 PM on LSN
Storylines: This is Rochester's first time on the field since toppling the previously undefeated Denver Outlaws, so expect them to come into this one rested and confident off the bye week. The Bayhawks will look to get their offense back on track after Ohio limited them to a season-low 11 goals last week. The Bayhawks still have a league-best .338 shooting percentage this season.
Players to watch: Jeremy Boltus had a career day in the Rattlers' win in Denver. The sixth-year pro tallied the tying and winning goals during a four-goal performance. He was supported by the always dangerous Jordan Wolf, who leads the team in points (20) and goals (13), despite only playing in three games. After storming MLL with a six-point debut, Sean Evans followed that with three goals and an assist last week. The Canadian import has been a key addition to the Chesapeake offense in two games.
Atlanta Blaze (2-3) at Charlotte Hounds (2-5)
Saturday, 7:30 PM on LSN
Storylines: After playing a 19-18 barn burner last weekend that saw the Blaze come out on top, Atlanta and Charlotte renew their rivalry on Saturday. Last week, the Blaze tried to ambush the Hounds with an eight-goal first quarter, but Charlotte came back with seven in the second quarter. The teams traded blows the rest of the way until Chris Bocklet scored three of his four goals late in the second half.
Players to watch: Attackman James Pannell had the best game of his career last week, scoring four goals (a 2-pointer) and adding two assists, earning the Warrior Offensive Player of the Week. The younger Pannell brother leads the Blaze in points with 19. The Hounds were boosted last week by a six-goal debut from John Crawley, the team's fourth-round pick in the Collegiate Draft. He adds to an already potent offense led by Ryan Brown, the league leader in points (25).