NYMBURK, Czech Republic — The Israel women’s national lacrosse team wrapped up its campaign at the 2015 European Championships with a 10-9 nail-biting loss to rival Scotland in the bronze medal game.
Israel’s women, previously unranked in Europe, earned a No. 4 ranking in their European debut at the competition, which ended last weekend. Two Israelis — Amanda Tuck (16 goals, 5 assists) and Courtney Miller (14 goals, 4 assists) — cracked the top 10 in scoring in Europe, while Jessica Rothstein (13 goals, 3 assists) rounded out the top 20.
Israel led 7-3 in the first half, but Scotland clawed back to close the gap to 8-6 at halftime. A 45-minute delay due to lightning couldn’t quash the Scots’ momentum, as they opened the second half with a four-goal run to take a 10-8 lead.
Rothstein would score for Israel with just under 10 minutes remaining, and the blue-and-white had several opportunities to tie the game, however, Scotland goalkeeper Emma Wauchope stood tall, denying a shot at the buzzer to secure the bronze medal.
Rothstein (four goals, one assist), Tuck (three goals), Kim Dubansky (one goal), Halsey Diakow (one goal) and Hannah Deoul (one assist) scored for Israel. Julia Szafman (60:00, 6 saves, 10 GA) was dealt the loss in goal.
Jenni Aiton (four goals, one assist), Alisa Stott (one goal, four assists) and Julia Patterson (two goals) led Scotland offensively.
The Scotland match came on the heels of Israel’s first-ever European semifinal in lacrosse on Friday, in which the team battled for 60 minutes, but was unable to upset No. 1-ranked England, which went on to win the title.
The match started with a scoring frenzy, as Sophie Morrill scored for England just 40 seconds in. Halsey Diakow and Courtney Miller responded with back-to-back goals to give Israel a 2-1 lead, before England seesawed the momentum back in their favor with a three-goal run.
Tuck and Miller scored another set of back-to-back goals to tie the match at 4-4. However, England would go on a four-goal run to take a commanding 8-4 lead at the half.
Tuck and Rothstein opened the second half to cut the deficit to 8-6, but that’s the closest the blue-and-white would get in the second half, as England quashed Israel’s momentum with 10-6 and 12-7 leads.
Tuck (three goals), Miller (two goals, one assist), Rothstein (two goals) and Diakow (one goal) were responsible for Israel’s scoring. Szafman (60:00, 7 saves, 12 GA) was dealt the loss in goal.
Israel’s women’s lacrosse program, which is only three years old, has made significant strides recently. Israel made its U-19 debut in Edinburgh, Scotland, last month. Israel Lacrosse is also shifting to develop U-15 girls teams across the country, with the organization announcing plans to launch programs in six cities starting in September: Ashdod, Ashkelon, Kiryat Gat, Netanya, Ramle and Tel Aviv.