Israel sweeps Birthright Stars in Ashkelon

ASHKELON, ISRAEL — The Israel women’s and men’s national teams both defeated the Birthright/USA All-Stars on Sunday night at Ashkelon’s New Municipal Stadium.

Israel’s women were victorious in a rout, 17-5, while the men eeked out an 11-9 victory over the visiting teams of Jewish collegiate players from the United States who are participating in a Taglit-Birthright trip this week.

The Israel women scored early and often to take a commanding 8-0 advantage, before Freso State’s Nicole Ortlieb finally put the All-Stars on the board at 21:40. The second half was more balanced, but the blue-and-white maintained a strong the lead the entire way.

Kim Dubansky (two goals, four assists), Amanda Tuck (three goals, one assist), Leah Sherman (three goals), Jessica Rothstein (one goal, two assists), Courtney Miller (two goals), Marlee Galper (one goal, one assist) and Emily Brodsky (two assists) each had big days for Team Israel. Dubansky earned MVP honors.

Sophia Rosetti, Taylor Roy, Sarah Greenberg and Halsey Diakow chipped in singles, while Sarah Meisenberg added one assist. Julia Szafman (60:00, 1 save, 5 GA) got the win in goal.

Jayme Verman (two goals, one assist), Orlieb (one goal), Whitney Jaffe (one goal), Lindsey Weiner (one goal) and Jenna Baverman (one assist) cracked the scoresheet for Birthright. Blaire Nathanson (30:00, 5 saves, 10 GA) and JoJo Auerbach (30:00, 9 saves, 6 GA) split time in goal; Nathanson was dealt the loss.

The Israel women’s national team is preparing for the 2015 ELF European Lacrosse Championships in Nymburk, Czech Republic. The blue-and-white open on August 6th against Wales, who is ranked 2nd in Europe and 5th in the world.

Israel’s men held off a furious late comeback to edge the All-Stars, 11-9. The blue-and-white led for most of the game, and was able to defend their home turf as Taglit-Birthright ran out of time.

Binghamton’s Jesse Parker opened the scoring for Birthright at 12:00, but Israel answered back with four straight goals to take a 4-1 advantage, and never relinquished the lead.

A pair of goals by Amherst’s Aaron Mathias trimmed the score to 4-3, and a third quarter rally again brought the deficit to just one goal at 7-6, but Team Israel maintained the lead the entire way.

Trailing 10-6 with eight minutes remaining, one final rally would bring the score to 11-9, however, the blue-and-white were able to run out the clock and secure the victory.

Bryan Hopper (three goals, one assist), Jacob Silberlicht (one goal, one assist) and Mikey Pfeffer (one goal, one assist) had multi-point games for Israel, while Phil Sussingham, Matthew Flapan, Yotam Drori, Mike Ford, Gabriel Leonhard and Mitch Goldberg each added singles.

Reuven Dressler (30:00, 7 saves, 3 GA) earned MVP honors for his first-half performance, while Jacob Reiner (15:00, 4 saves, 3 GA) and Andrew Copeland (15:00, 1 save, 2 GA) also saw action. Copeland was credited the win.

Parker (three goals, one assist) led the Birthright/USA All-Stars in scoring, while Maryland’s Caleb Brodie (three goals) and Mathias (two goals, one assist) also had big evenings. Spencer Rotenberg (two assists), Aaron Feinberg (one goal) and Joshua Schwartz (one assist) cracked the scoresheet as well.

Gabe Weissmann (30:00, 4 saves, 6 GA) and Justin Isaacs (30:00, 7 saves, 5 GA) split time in net. Isaacs was dealt the loss.

The two teams will meet again on Wednesday at Nave Golan Sports Center in Tel Aviv.

Additional caps (women) – Hannah Deoul, Hannah Epstein, Ellie Rosenblum

Additional caps (men) – Alec Aloni, Chico Aviv, Dima Bondarenko, Chris Friedman, Matthew Greenberg, Seth Mahler, Jonathan Rathauser, Davey Siegal, Sacha Stout