ASHDOD, ISRAEL — Haifa LC was victorious in the first-ever Israel Premier Lacrosse League opener, edging Ashkelon LC, 8-7, at Ashdod Sport Club on Monday night.
Goaltender Ted Bergman and the Haifa defense held Ashkelon to just one goal in the second half, in a highly-competitive and intense game to kick off the league. With some of the world’s best on display, the game was action packed, with an obvious high level of talent.
Ido Almog, a native-Israeli who was born in Jerusalem, scored the league’s first-ever goal for Haifa at 3:45 of the first quarter, beating Ashkelon goalie Juri Elonen, who hails from Finland.
The international nature of the league was on full showcase on opening night, with athletes hailing from the United States, Poland and Argentina joining the Israelis and the Finns. There are also players from Canada, England and Netherlands rostered on the league’s other teams.
Justin Diamond scored two goals and two assists for Haifa to earn EL AL Player of the Game honors, while Nate Archer added two goals. Bergman finished with 10 saves to earn the win.
Mitch Goldberg notched two goals and two assists for Ashkelon, while Seth Mahler also scored twice. Elonen made seven saves in the loss.
Both teams are back in action in a Thursday doubleheader at the Netanya Lacrosse Festival at Shapira Field. Haifa (1-0) takes on Tel Aviv (0-0) at 7:00 PM, while Barak Netanya LC (0-0) hosts Ashkelon (0-1) in the main event at 8:30 PM.