TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — Be’er Sheva LC had a flare for the dramatic on Wednesday night, as the “Speed of the Negev” prevailed in a thrilling IPLL Championship Game at Wolfson Fields in Tel Aviv.
EL AL Player of the Game Daniel Leventhal scored six goals, including the game-winner at 30 seconds of overtime, while Ian Kadish was dominant from the faceoff X and added five goals for Be’er Sheva (6-1).
The upstart lacrosse community in the South was the only team to defeat Haifa in the regular-season, taking a 5-4 win in a defensive battle on the opening night of the IPLL season.
Be’er Sheva came in confident, snagging early 1-0 and 3-1 leads. Haifa battled back to notch the game at 5-5 at the end of the third quarter, before taking a their first lead of the evening on a pair of Noah Miller goals with just over 10 minutes left.
The teams traded goals through the waning minutes, with Haifa holding a 9-8 lead with under two minutes to play. Seth Mahler’s score at 1:47 remaining appeared to be the nail in the coffin, however, Kadish answered back with consecutive faceoff wins and scores to stun Haifa, the crowd in attendance, and a national television audience watching live on Sport ONE.
Following another Kadish faceoff win to open overtime, Leventhal would be the hero on a low shot at 30 seconds of the extra period.
Jeff Handman (30:00, 10 saves, 2 GA) and Jake Reiner (30:30, 7 saves, 8 GA) split time in goal, with Reiner collecting the victory.
Miller led Haifa with four goals, while Joshua Bernstein, showing no wear-and-tear from an impressive showing in the U-19 World Championships in Vancouver, chipped in three goals in relief for Yochanan Katz who left the game in the first quarter.
Eric Fischer (30:00, 4 saves, 3 GA) and Andrew Landsman (30:30, 8 saves, 8 GA) split time in goal; Landsman was dealt the loss.