TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — 13 players took home a piece of hardware in a cermony at the IPLL Championship Game in Tel Aviv last week, including Be’er Sheva midfielder Ian Kadish, who was named EL AL League MVP. Kadish led the IPLL in both goals (27) and points (30), including a five-goal performance in Wednesday’s 11-10 overtime win at the Championship Game. He was also a dominant force at the faceoff X all summer.
Ashdod LC midfielder Zachary Penfil was named STX Offensive Player of the Year. Penfil led the league in assists with nine, and was second in overall scoring with 22 points. He also honored as the league’s top faceoff man, earning a spot on the first-team All-Israel squad as a faceoff specialist.
Ashdod’s Max Gradinger was named Bank Hapoalim Defensive Player of the Year. Gradinger and the Ashdod defense allowed just 48 goals all season (6.8 goals against per game), good for second in the league. Gradinger was all over the field for Ashdod, forcing turnovers and even contributing offensively, with nine goals and two assists.
Kiryat Gat LC’s Brandon Mager was presented the Sticks For Kids Sportsmanship Award in recognition of his overwhelming commitment to the development of the sport of lacrosse in Israel. Mager played hard-nosed defense all season, while maintaining the highest level of respect for the sport. Mager and his teammates impacted over 2,000 Israeli youth in Kiryat Gat this summer, a huge chunk of the small Southern city.
Ashdod midfield Lidor Ashtamkar was named IPLL Rookie of the Year, in recognizing the top Israeli high school “call up” player. The 15-year-old scored three goals and three assists for Ashdod this season, leading all U-19 players.
Kiryat Gat’s Ivan Cohen was honored as the IPLL Coach of the Year. Kiryat Gat’s roster was the league’s most diverse, with athletes from Israel, Germany, Turkey, and the United States. Despite an 0-5 regular season record, Kiryat Gat improved each game, culminating with a shocking quarterfinal win over Ashdod LC. Cohen is credited with cultivating a positive energy and family atmosphere with his team, allowing them to be competitive all season despite holes on their roster at key positions.
First Team All-Israel
Caleb Brodie, Ashkelon
Drew Gallant, Barak Netanya
Drew Saltzman, Ashkelon
Ian Kadish, Be’er Sheva
Yochanan Katz, Haifa
Mitch Turley, Kiryat Gat
Chris Friedman, Haifa
Max Gradinger, Ashdod
Jacob Hymowitz, Be’er Sheva
Kiryat Gat, Dan Kaufman
Zachary Penfil, Ashdod