Ashkelon, Sha’ar HaNegev compete at ISB Brussels Youth Tournament

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — The Israel Lacrosse Association sent two youth lacrosse teams abroad last weekend, as Ashkelon LC and Sha’ar HaNegev LC represented the Jewish State at the 15th annual ISB Youth Lacrosse Tournament at the International School of Brussels.

Ashkelon earned wins over Belgian and German clubs en route to a fourth-place finish in the Varsity division, while Sha’ar HaNegev finished fourth in the JV bracket.

Ashkelon LC U-19 team
Ashkelon LC U-19 team

Ashkelon, went 3-2 on the first day of the tournament, defeating ISB Raiders Varsity (Belgium) 4-2, Frankfurt (Germany) 5-4 and Belgium U18 6-2. The two losses came to eventual-champions Hamburg (Germany) 7-0 and Braine Lions (Belgium) 4-2.

On the second day, The Fighting Alephs went 0-2, dropping to Wilmslow (England) 8-1 and Braine Lions again in the third-place game 4-3.

Sha’ar HaNegev lost its first game 7-2 to Jizni Metzo (Czech Republic) before bouncing back against Frankfurt 8-2. The Israeli squad tied 3-3 with ISB Raiders JV before falling victim to the Raiders overzealous coaching staff in a contraversial 5-4 finish.

Andrew Landsman, who served as acting coach of Ashkelon with Brian Witmer, said he was proud of what his team accomplished.

“It was great to see how they listened to the coaching and consistently improved every game,” Landsman said. “I thought the goaltending from Maxim (Vaysblekh) was great, and the attack duo of Dolev (Geva) and Ronen (Abramovich) were great at finding openings against the opposing team. Lazar (Rihter) excelled at facing off and was instrumental in getting us control of the ball after every goal.”

Sam Kramer, who shared coaching responsibilities for Sha’ar HaNegev with Niles Miller, said the players’ progress throughout the tournament was obvious.

“The experience in Belgium was a blast,” Kramer said. “The kids exceeded our expectations by far. The improvement from the first game to the last was incredible.”

Sha'ar HaNegev LC U-15 team.
Sha’ar HaNegev LC U-15 team.

Kramer had nothing but glowing reviews for the event itself.

“The atmosphere at ISB was competitive yet friendly at the same time,” he explained. Everyone was there to get better and enjoy the sport we all love. I cannot wait to come back.”

Ashkelon caps (x7): Ronen Abramovich, Itay David Pekar, Dolev Geva, Solomon Guangul, Almog Jember, Lazar Rihter, Yuval Saar, Liran Sapozhnikov, Eshel Van Straten, Maxim Vaysblekh, Ronel Yefrach

Sha’ar HaNegev Caps (x4): Itay Abitul, Tal Ansher, Ido Bar-David, Eyal Biton, Nimrod Hanna, Ofri Harel, Omer Hazan, Kristofer Pak, Yehonatan Rahamim Lederman, Tomer Shtain, Itzhak Vaknin