MLL Weekend Preview: Week 9
Charlotte Hounds (3-5) at Chesapeake Bayhawks (3-3)
Friday, 7:30 PM on LSN
Storylines: Look for a lot of scoring in this Friday night tilt. The Bayhawks have been at or near the top of the league in scoring efficiency all season (currently second according to Moneyball Lacrosse) and the Hounds have scored 18 goals in each of their last two games. Charlotte will add to that scoring punch by activating 2017 Tewaaraton Award winner Matt Rambo. After leading Maryland to its first NCAA title since 1975, Rambo is ready to enter the pro ranks.
Players to watch: All eyes will be on Rambo. The league has already seen rookies like Dylan Molloy, Josh Byrne and John Crawley make an impact right off the bat, and Rambo may have the most impressive résumé of them all. On the opposing side, how will Josh Byrne follow up his seven-goal bonanza in his debut last week? He'll look to compliment Myles Jones, who has 10 points total in his last four games after scoring 10 points against Boston on May 6.
Rochester Rattlers (4-3) at New York Lizards (2-4)
Saturday, 7:00 PM on Twitter
Storylines: The Twitter Game of the Week features a Rochester club on a two-game winning streak against a team in New York that is looking to salvage its season and end a three-game losing streak. The Rattlers have proven themselves as the iron of the league after taking down the Outlaws three weeks ago. Not an easy matchup for the Lizards after losing a heart-breaking game in overtime to the upstart Launch last weekend.
Players to watch: Jeremy Boltus has fueled the Rattlers' offense with nine goals combined in his last two games, helping him earn the Warrior Offesnive Player of the Week for Week 6. He'll go up against a New York defense that includes Drew Adams in net (13.01 GAA) and defenseman Joe Fletcher, who has caused 10 turnovers this year, tied for the ninth-most in the league this season, according to Moneyball Lacrosse.
Atlanta Blaze (2-4) at Florida Launch (4-3)
Saturday, 7:00 PM on LSN
Storylines: The underdog story of the season may have already been decided, and it's the Florida Launch. After finishing in last place in 2016, the Launch have completely reinvented the roster since the MLL Collegiate Draft and are above .500 after two straight wins against New York. Atlanta is looking for its first road win of the season after an 18-12 loss at the hands of Charlotte last week.
Players to watch: Florida is looking for continued growth from its crop of talented rookies. The top pick in the draft, Dylan Molloy, is coming off a hat trick and an assist on the game-winning goal in his first pro game that led to him earning the Warrior Offensive Player of the Week. Atlanta will counter with star attackman Kevin Rice, who had eight points (4 goals, 4 assists) in his return from injury last week.
Boston Cannons (2-5) at Denver Outlaws (5-1)
Saturday, 9:30 PM on LSN
Storylines: To quote the great Ricky Bobby, "If you ain't first, you're last." That's the case in this game, as the first-place Outlaws take on the last-place Cannons for the second time in three weeks. Denver can't sleep on the Cannons, who after falling behind the Machine last week, scored seven goals in the fourth quarter before losing in overtime. That loss came after the Outlaws handed Boston a 19-13 loss in Week 7.
Players to watch: Wes Berg had his best game of the season against the Cannons two weeks ago with four goals and an assist. He was complimented in that game by hat tricks from Eric Law, Drew Snider and Matt Kavanagh. Boston will try to put the Outlaws on the run as Davey Emala (9 points), Kylor Bellistri (8 points) and Will Manny (7 points) all rank in the top five in the league in fast-break points, accoring to Moneyball Lacrosse.