NETANYA, ISRAEL — The Women’s Israel Premier Lacrosse League (WIPLL) officially kicks off it’s inaugural season on Thursday night with a doubleheader at Shapira Field.
The league will be comprised of primarily collegiate players with NCAA eligibility remaining, with clubs in Ashkelon, Be’er Sheva and Netanya. Teams will compete in a condensed five-game schedule from June 22-July 5, specifically designed to provide an opportunity to collegiate athletes and recent graduates who are interested in training and competing with an elite group.
The schedule features a double round-robin schedule without playoffs; the team with the top record will be crowned 2017 champions. Ashkelon and Be’er Sheva will also compete in exhibitions against the Maccabi USA Jr. Team, who are preparing for the upcoming Maccabiah Games.
2017 WIPLL Schedule
Thu, June 22 at 6:00 PM – Be’er Sheva at Netanya (Shapira Field)
Thu, June 22 at 7:30 PM – Ashkelon at Netanya (Shapira Field)
Tue, June 27 at 7:00 PM – Be’er Sheva at Ashkelon (New Municipal Stadium)
Thu, June 29 at 7:30 PM – Be’er Sheva at Netanya (Shapira Field)
Fri, June 30 at 7:00 AM – Ashkelon at Maccabi USA (Ranaana Synthetic)
Sun, July 2 at 7:00 AM – Be’er Sheva at Maccabi USA (Ranaana Synthetic)
Tue, July 4 at 8:00 AM – Ashkelon at Netanya (Shapira Field)
Tue, July 4 at 9:30 AM – Be’er Sheva vs Ashkelon (Shapira Field)
The launch of the league comes amidst an exciting summer for the sport in Israel; the Women’s National Team will be competing in the World Cup in July, while the sport debuts in the Maccabiah Games with a U-19 Girls competition, and a U-15 Girls Festival Team will compete in England.
Franchise players were also announced for each of the league’s three teams.
Ashkelon LC: Batel Elkalay, Kelly Layton and Chasia Warshow. The 16-year-old Elkalay, who makes her international debut at the festival in England, is a native of Ashdod and is a natural on the offensive end of the field. Layon, a native of Ashton, Maryland, averaged 140 saves per season at Glenelg Country School and is entering her Sophomore year at Millerville University. Warshow, a strong threat on the offensive side of the field, helped the Israelis win the European Festival in Budapest last summer.
Be’er Sheva LC: Amit Burstein, Taylor Roy and Julie Wise. The 16-year-old Burstein, who makes her international debut at the festival in England, hails from Moshav Arugot, which has a population of 1,100. Roy, a graduate of Wheaton College, is considered royalty in the Negev not just for her goal-scoring ability, but also her precense all over the field and off of it. Wise has seen action for England’s national developmental teams and is no stranger to the Israeli program.
Barak Netanya LC: Sarah Meisenberg, Courtney Miller and Blaire Nathanson. Meisenberg, who has resided in Israel since 2015, has appeared in every game for the blue-and-white since the program’s inception in 2012. Miller, a Colgate grad, scored 14 goals for Israel at the 2015 European Championships. Nathanson, who made Aliyah in 2016, appeared in 17 games for Iona College in 2015.