Herzliya LC earned a 14-12 win over Ashdod LC in an exciting match at Netanya’s Shapira Field on Wednesday. The win eliminates Ashdod from playoff contention while keeping Herzliya’s hopes alive heading into the final day of the season.
The 6’7” , 200-pound Sean Wright made the difference, shuffling into the lineup for Ryan Hunter. Wright connected for four goals and two assists, as Ashdod (1-3) had difficulty containing his physical presence.
Herzliya led 5-2 after one quarter, but Ashdod gutted their way back into the game, taking a 10-8 lead in the third quarter. Behind Wright, Herzliya finished strong in a spirited affair that was arguably the most tightly-contested game of the season. Holden Grupp, Matt Pollack, Ben Wipper and Isaac Paparo each chipped in two goals for Herzliya. Raitis Zabrorskis (60:00, 5 saves 12 GA) earned the win in goal.
Ashdod was led by Willy Gettinger (three goals, two assists) and JJ Pickard (three goals, one assist). The Dolphins are eliminated from Final Four contention with the loss.
Herzliya (2-2) needed a win Thursday, coupled with an Ashkelon (2-2) loss to playoff-bound Haifa (3-1), to advance to the playoffs. The matches ended after press time.
Earlier in the day, Be’er Sheva dispatched Kiryat Gat, 8-6, at Ashdod Sport Club to remain undefeated.
Lane Kadish, Eric Fischer and Serbian national Milos Vukasinovic each chipped in two goals in the win for Be’er Sheva (4-0), which has clinched a playoff berth. Tom Carver and Josh Schwall added singles while Payton Fales (60:00, 9 saves, 6 GA) earned the win in goal.
Ian Mills and Spencer Rotenberg scored two goals apiece for Kiryat Gat (0-4).
On Monday, Max Satossky and Jacob Silberlicht each scored four goals and one assist to lead Sderot LC past Ashkelon LC, 11-9, at Ashkelon’s New Municipal Stadium.
Ashkelon held an 8-7 lead after three quarters, but Sderot outscored their neighbors 4-1 in the fourth quarter to earn their third straight win.
Max Kaufman (three assists), Matthew Flapan (two goals) and Valentin Gruber (one goal, one assist) also cracked the scoresheet for the expansion Sderot club, which clinched a spot in the Final Four with a 3-1 record.
Max Yavitt (60:00, 13 saves, 9 GA) earned the win in goal.
Bryan Rotarori led Ashkelon (2-2) with five goals and an assist, while Ben Gleichenhaus (60:00, 16 saves, 11 GA) played well between the pipes. The Fighting Aleph’s still needed a win late Thursday over Haifa or a Herzliya loss to Kiryat Gat to make the playoffs.
Asheklon, Ashdod, Barak Netanya (1-3) and Kiryat Gat have all been eliminated from playoff contention.