ONONDAGA NATION, HAUDENOSAUNEE TERRITORIES — The Israel men’s national box lacrosse team earned a #4 world ranking following the 2015 FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championships, which was held September 18-27 at Onondaga Nation Arena and the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.
Israel went 5-3 in the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) Championship event, including a gutsy 13-12 win over Czech Republic in the quarterfinals. It was the first-ever win for Israel in any format over the Czechs, who have held the #4 World Indoor ranking since 2011.
The victory gave the blue-and-white the opportunity to compete on the “big stage” — in the Bronze Medal Match against Team USA — in front of 10,421 fans at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.
Although Israel wasn’t able to take home a medal, the team established itself as a serious contender on the World Stage. Kyle Bergman and Bryan Hopper scored two goals each, while Chase Clark and Chad Culp each chipped in two assists at “The Dome”. Zachary Higgins made 44 saves in the loss.
With a roster of mostly field athletes — only 7 of the teams’s 23 rostered players have had more than a few games of experience “in the box” — the squad achieved what is believed to be the highest world ranking in any competitive team sport in Israel’s history. Israel’s coaching staff, led by Canadian Brad MacArthur, has received universal praise for taking the inexperienced, yet talented team to the Medal Rounds with just a handful of training events in Prague, Toronto and Philadelphia.
Additional caps: Andrew Copeland, Adam Crystal, Daniel Deckelbaum, Matthew Flapan, Harrison Freid, Kevin Harper, Dalton Lundy, Seth Mahler, Cole McCormack, Noah Miller, Zachary Pall, Jacob Silberlicht, Benjamin Smith
Schedule / Results
Fri, Sep 18 – Israel vs. Serbia (pool play; W, 15-8)
Sat, Sep 19 – Israel vs. Germany (pool play; L, 10-9)
Sun, Sep 20 – Israel vs. #7 Ireland (pool play; W, 12-6)
Mon, Sep 21 – Israel vs. Finland (first round playoff; W, 14-4)
Tue, Sep 22 – Israel vs. #7 Ireland (seeding match; W, 12-7)
Thu, Sep 24 – Israel vs. #4 Czech Republic (quarterfinals; W, 13-12)
Fri, Sep 25 – Israel vs. #1 Canada (semifinals; L, 19-3)
Sun, Sep 27 – Israel vs. #3 United States (bronze medal match; L, 15-4)