Israel came up just short, winning silver after falling to England 10-7 in the final last Thursday in Netanya, where it hosted the Women’s European Lacrosse Championships.
Still, it was an impressive run, leading to the first medal to be won by a women’s national squad in the Israel Lacrosse Association’s short history.
Israel had lost to England in divisional play 12-3. The Blue and White were able to keep the game much closer this time around. In front of a packed Tubruq Stadium, Israel trailed England 5-4 at the end of the first half matching them goal for goal in the second quarter. Goal keeper Dylan Teitelbaum who moved to Israel from Long Island to coach lacrosse in Netanya, had an excellent performance, coming up with timely saves that energized her team. A flurry of goals from veterans Alison Curwin and MacEllen McDonough helped Israel keep pace with England.
In the end, though, England prevailed. Wales defeated the upstart Czech Republic earlier in the day 13-8 to win the bronze medal.
Three Israel national team players were selected to the All-Europe Team based on their performances at the championship, defenseman Megan Lerner, and midfielders Alison Curwin and Emily Resnick. Resnick also led the tournament in scoring with 25 goals.
Israel national team women’s director and national team player Sarah Meisenberg, who has played on every national squad since the association’s inception, said: “This championship was a huge win for Israel. Not only did we win silver, we were able to do it with our young players watching on home soil. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for them.”
Meisenberg won't have to wait long as she is coaching Israel’s U19 team alongside national team goalie Alex Freedman at the 2019 U19 World Lacrosse Championships in Canada August 1-10.
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The local association declared the tournament a success, with over 60 games played in Jerusalem, Ashkelon, and Netanya, and with games televised nationally on Channel One and internationally on the Olympic Channel.
“Over 500 players from Europe experienced the wonders of Israel while competing for their countries,” a representative of Israel Lacrosse told Haaretz. “Israel walked away from the championships with the reputation of one of the best host countries as well as one of the strongest lacrosse programs in Europe with a silver medal.”
The Israeli women and men’s teams are now both ranked second in Europe in field lacrosse.