Ashdod, Ashkelon, Be’er Sheva & Haifa prevail on IPLL opening night

NETANYA, ISRAEL — The Israel Premier Lacrosse League (IPLL) kicked off its’ third season with a quadruple-header at Tubruq Field on Thursday night.

Three of the four games were decided by just one goal to launch a season that is expected to be the league’s most exciting to date.

Ashdod 9, Kiryat Gat 6 – Ashdod used a balanced attack to jump out to a quick 4-0 lead and never trailed. Kiryat Gat was able to cut the deficit to two goals on numerous occasions, but the lead was too much for KG to overcome. JJ Pickard scored four goals while Jason Bram scored three for Ashdod. Jordan Eicholz (30:00, 7 saves, 2 GA) was excellent in goal while David Burger (30:00, 3 saves, 4 GA) was credited the win. Turkish national Bariş Özgür Yilmaz led Kiryat Gat with two goals.

Ashkelon 9, Herzliya 8 – Ashkelon earned a come-from-behind win to spoil Herzliya’s IPLL debut. The expansion club led 5-2 in the first half, but Ashkelon scored five straight goals to snag a 7-5 advantage. Herzliya went on a three-goal run of their own to take back the 8-7 lead, but Ashkelon’s Lucas and Max Gradinger scored in the final minutes to grab the win. Bryan Rotatori led Ashkelon with four goals. Ryan Hunter, Seth Mahler and Matt Pollack scored two goals apiece. Ben Gleichenhaus (60:00, 9 saves, 8 GA) earned the win in goal.

Haifa 7, Sderot 6 – Ted Bergman was impressive in his return to the IPLL, making 11 saves and allowing just six goals as Haifa LC edged out a 7-6 win over expansion Sderot. The game was a back-and-forth affair with six lead changes. Dan Kravitt scored three goals — including the game-winner with just under four minutes remaining — and added one assist. Alexander Rabin added three goals for Haifa. Max Kaufman, Max Satossky and Jacob Silberlicht scored two goals apiece for Sderot.

Be’er Sheva 9, Barak Netanya 8 – The defending champions spoiled opening night for Netanya on their home field, pulling out a 9-8 thriller to wrap up the evening. 2016 league MVP Ian Kadish chipped in one goal and four assists in a spot-start for the Speed of the Negev, while younger brother Lane Kadish added four goals in his IPLL debut. Hometown star Eric Fischer chipped in two goals on offense. Dan Applebaum and Drew Lazar each scored three goals and one assist for the “Bolts”. Payton Fales (60:00, 9 saves, 8 GA) earned the win in goal.