BUDAPEST, ISRAEL — The Israel men’s national team is boasting an unblemished 5-0 record as they prepare for the Quarterfinals of the 2016 ELF European Lacrosse Championships, which are being held at Szent István University in Budapest, Hungary, from July 28-August 6.
The blue-and-white meet European powerhouse Germany on Wednesday at 2:30pm local / 3:30pm Israel / 8:30am ET.
The Germans, who were picked by many to challenge the defend champions, England, for Gold this weekend, come into the elimination match with a 4-1 record after surviving a group that includes the English, as well as a surprising Latvia team and the always-formidable Czech Republic.
The Israelis have been relatively unchallenged to date, winning their five matches by a combined score of 71-13. The up-and-coming Swiss team are the other team to advance from “Pool C” — they finished 11th in the 2012 Euros. Switzerland gave Israel their greatest challenge to date on opening day with a 9-2 final score.
Israel has gotten to the “Round of Eight” with an unusually balanced offensive effort. Every player who is not a goaltender or defensive specialist has scored a goal, while five players — Caleb Brodie (12 goals), Matthew Cherry (11 goals), Noah Miller (9 goals), Daniel Leventhal (7 goals) and Ian Kadish (7 goals) have a significant offensive output.
Despite being third in scoring behind England (95 goals) and Finland (80 goals), the Israelis do not have a single player in the top-10, which is sure to give opposing defenses fits while preparing for these crucial playoff matches.
On Tuesday, Israel jumped out to a 9-1 lead en route to a 16-6 win, as they eliminated 2012 bronze medalist Sweden from Championship contention. Caleb Brodie, Matthew Cherry, and Ian Kadish scored three goals apiece, while Eric Fischer (60:00, 3 saves, 2 GA) and Andrew Landsman (20:00, 3 saves, 4 GA) saw action in goal. Fischer was credited the win.
Israel shutout newcomer Slovenia, 12-0, on Monday. Yochanan Katz and Cherry led the Israelis with three goals apiece, while Brodie kicked in two goals. Landsman (80:00, 3 saves, 0 GA) earned the win in goal.
The blue-and-white had a shaky first quarter before scoring the next seven goals to burst past Belgium, 17-4, on Sunday. 11 different players scored goals in the win, with Cherry’s three scores leading the way. Fischer (60:00, 1 save, 3 GA) and Landsman (20:00, 3 saves, 1 GA) saw action in net with Fischer getting the win.
Caps (x3) – Kyle Bergman, Joshua Bernstein, Caleb Brodie, Matthew Cherry, Aaron Feinberg, Eric Fischer, Christopher Friedman, Max Gradinger, Jesse Hartman, Ian Kadish, Eric Kansky, Jacob Kane, Yochanan Katz, Andrew Landsman, Daniel Leventhal, Seth Mahler, Noah Miller, Jacob Milner, Zachary Ornstein, Jonathan Rathauser, Alex Siegel, Jacob Silberlicht, Glen Tobin
Thu, Jul 28 – Israel 9, Switzerland 2
Fri, Jul 29 – Israel 17, Spain 1
Sun, Jul 31 – Israel 17, Belgium 4
Mon, Aug 1 – Israel 12, Slovenia 0
Tue, Aug 2 – Israel 16, Sweden 6
Wed, Aug 3 at 2:30pm – Israel vs Germany (Quarterfinals)
**Semifinals are Thursday, August 4