On the surface Florida Launch goalie Austin Kaut’s first season as a starter fit the common narrative that the goalie position has the toughest learning curve. He finished seventh in MLL in goals against average (14.08), while¬†posting a 3-7 record on a 3-11 team.

Dig deeper, and there are plenty of reasons for optimism. Kaut was at the top of the league in several statistical categories. He turned away 57.8% of unsettled shots (1st in MLL) and 66.7% of crease dives (1st in MLL).

With Kaut in net, the Launch rebounded 78.7% of his saves. Only Charlotte Hounds goalie Charlie Cipriano (79.6%) surrendered fewer rebounds.

Squandering second chance shots (and 60-second shot clock resets) is a valuable skill. That ability to thrive in unsettled situations and chaotic crease dives is almost uncoachable; when the defense in front of him tightens up, Kaut’s other numbers could take a huge leap as well.