Tel Aviv LC defends Euro title

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY — The Israel women’s festival team, playing under the Tel Aviv LC banner, overpowered Austria 10-4 last weekend to win the 2016 Women’s Hungarian Open at Szent Istv├ín University in Budapest, Hungary.

Courtney Miller led Tel Aviv with three goals in the finale, while Amanda Tuck and Sarah Anderson (two goals, one assist) each scored twice. Jayme Verman (one goal, two assists), Halsey Diakow (one goal, one assist) and Jenna Beverman (one goal) each added a tally to help secure the first-place finish.

Blaire Nathanson (60:00, 6 saves, 4 GA) directed a stifling defense that was able to cause multiple turnovers and give the offense the edge in possession time, leading to the win in Tel Aviv’s third meeting with Austria during the competition.

The tournament is held as a showcase featuring a mix of national sides, developmental teams, and club programs from across Europe in conjunction with the quadrennial Men’s European Championships. In addition to the two finalists, teams from Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway and Poland also participated.

In 2012, Tel Aviv followed a similar path in the Women’s festival, stumbling in group play before rallying to defeat Global Players in the final in Amsterdam.

The Israel roster featured six members of the Women’s National Team which placed fourth in the 2015 European Championships last summer, including Diakow, Sarah Meisenberg, Miller, Ellie Rosenblum, Taylor Roy, and Ruck.

Meisenberg and Tuck, who captained the blue-and-white in 2015, helped steer this squad to a gold medal. Tuck headed the offensive charge, finishing the tournament with 23 goals and 4 assists through seven games, while Meisenberg commanded the defense, holding opponents to only 34 goals versus the 69 that the Israelis put on the board.