Netanya franchises Hopper, Wolf, Bondarenko

NETANYA, ISRAEL — Barak Netanya LC announced midfielders Bryan Hopper and Dima Bondarenko, as well as defenseman Austin Wolf will represent the club as franchise players for their opening season of the Israel Premier Lacrosse League.

“I’m really looking forward to working with everyone on what is shaping up to be an extremely strong team in pursuit of the IPLL Championship,” said Barak Netanya LC head coach Pete Ginnegar. “We expect to start the season strong and get better every practice and every game.”

Hopper, who recently made Aliyah from Ridgewood, NJ to Netanya, is coming off a 20-goal season at Hamilton College in 2014. Over the last year he has seen extensive action in the indoor game, appearing in nine games for Israel’s entry in the Aleš Hřebeský Memorial and European Box Invitational in April. Hopper also scored three goals and an assist for Israel in Sunday’s game against the Birthright/USA All-Stars.

Wolf joins Barak Netanya LC following his Freshman season at RIT, who are ranked first in the nation. The young defender from Action, MA, was defensive MVP at Acton-Boxborough Regional, leading his team to a state title in 2014. He was also a two-time Dual County All-League Large selection and a two-time DCL Champion.

Bondarenko, who picked up the game just 10 months ago, is a force on both Netanya’s U-19 and men’s teams. The 6-4 midfielder got his first start for the Israel men’s national team on Sunday, and showed no fear against the Birthright/USA All-Stars. Bondarenko is likely to defer his IDF service for one year in order to continue his strong lacrosse development.

Barak Netanya LC opens their 2015 IPLL season on Wednesday, July 8th, when they visit Tel Aviv LC at Nave Golan Sports Center at 6pm. Netanya is back in action on July 9th, when they host Ashkelon LC in the main event of the Netanya Lacrosse Festival at Shapira Field at 8pm.