ASHKELON, ISRAEL – Claire Simonds, a native of Reisterstown, MD, who has represented the blue-and-white on the field since 2017, will relocate to Israel in October to participate in Israel Lacrosse’s Masa Gap-Year program.
Simonds will live like a local, train, compete, and directly contribute to the grassroots development of the sport in Israel. The 18-year-old defender will also have a prioritized opportunity to be evaluated to compete at the Women’s World Lacrosse Championship, held in Towson, MD from July 7-17, 2021.
Israel has rostered Simonds at two major Championship events at the Junior level. She appeared in six games for Israel at the 2018 U-20 European Championships in Katowice, Poland, recording seven goals, two assists, and 15 ground balls. She was most recently a member of Israel’s U-19 National Team which competed at the 2019 U-19 World Championships in Peterborough, Canada. Simonds first wore the blue-and-white as a member of Israel’s U-15 Festival Team, competing alongside the 2017 World Cup in London, England.
“Claire has contributed greatly to the development of the sport in Israel, maintaining connections that she has made since getting involved in 2017,” said Sarah Meisenberg, Israel’s Acting Head Coach. “On the field, Claire is everywhere you want her to be, her specialty is picking up ground balls and making defensive stops, but she can be found taking the draw, scoring, and is always eager for a challenge. She is going to help us tremendously as we prepare for the World Championships.”
Simonds’ path to playing on Team Israel began at the JCC Maccabi Games, where she represented Team Baltimore. She is also a former player at McDonogh School and M&D Lacrosse Club. Simonds will compete at Denison University for the 2021-2022 season.
Masa Israel Journey, which offers young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 immersive, life-changing internship experiences in Israel, has officially recognized the Israel Lacrosse Gap Year Program as a member of the Masa family since 2015. Israel Lacrosse is a fully functioning National Governing Body of the sport – equivalent to US Lacrosse in the United States – and has wide needs and opportunities to offer our personnel. Participants of our gap year programs have the opportunity to dive deep into areas that interest them, build their resume, interact with Israelis, obtain mentorship from experts in specific fields, and contribute in unique ways to the growth of the sport of lacrosse in Israel.
Athletes who are interested in learning more about the Israel Lacrosse Gap Year program should contact Director of Women’s Lacrosse, Sarah Meisenberg, at firstname.lastname@example.org.