The 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship concluded in San Diego after an intense 11-day competition. Israel showcased their skills in pool play, facing off against Sweden, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and the Czech Republic. With an impressive 6-1 record, Israel’s only loss came against the USA in the quarterfinals. However, they rebounded by defeating Jamaica and securing 7th place.
Nate Solomon emerged as a key player for Israel, leading the team’s offensive charge with a total of 16 goals, ranking him 10th overall in the tournament. On the defensive end, Drew Morris exhibited exceptional performance, boasting a 55.6 save percentage, placing him 4th among all goalkeepers.
In their first pool game against Sweden, Israel triumphed with a convincing 10-3 victory. Notable contributions came from Nate Solomon, Matt Balter, and Rob Schain, each scoring two goals. Joey Kraft impressed with two assists, while Ian Kadish dominated the faceoffs, winning 10 out of 17. Drew Morris and Eric Schneider split time in goal, effectively limiting Sweden to only three goals.
In the second game versus the Philippines, Israel continued their dominance, securing another win 8-4. Ryan Fitzpatrick set the tone with two long pole goals, and Rob Schain provided two assists to Joey Kraft and Zachary Paul. The well-rounded attack saw goals from six additional players, showcasing the team’s depth. Drew Morris anchored the defense, allowing just one goal on three shots, while the overall defense held the Philippines to a mere seven shots on target out of 27 attempts.
Israel’s momentum persisted in their matchup against Puerto Rico, where they triumphed with an impressive 12-6 win. Israel swiftly gained an early lead and never relinquished it. Nate Solomon led the offensive charge with five goals and two assists, while Rob Schain contributed three assists and one goal. Six other players added one goal each, underscoring Israel’s offensive prowess. Drew Morris played the full 60 minutes on the defensive side, making 15 saves on 21 shots.
Maintaining their dominant form, Israel faced the Czech Republic in their next pool game and secured another resounding victory 14-4. Nate Solomon continued his outstanding performance, netting five goals and providing one assist, while Rob Schain led with five assists and one goal. Matthew Balter chipped in with three goals and one assist. Five other players added one goal each, highlighting the team’s balanced offensive contributions.
After an unbeaten run of 3-0 in pool play, Israel faced Ireland in the first round of the playoffs, where they encountered their closest game yet. After a tied score of 1-1 at halftime, Israel pulled ahead in the third quarter with goals from Nate Solomon, Matthew Balter, and Rob Schain, ultimately securing a 6-5 victory. The defense, led by Matthew Popeck, Griffin Spolansky, and Andrew Kruter, showcased their prowess with three caused turnovers and a perfect 9-for-9 record on clears. Drew Morris made nine saves on 14 shots, anchoring the defense.
In the quarterfinals, Israel faced their most formidable opponent, the United States, who held the top ranking. Despite a valiant effort, Israel succumbed to the United States’ dominance, resulting in a 19-3 defeat. Nate Solomon, Rob Schain, and Matthew Balter made notable contributions with goals, while Drew Morris made 13 saves on 28 shots in a 45-minute appearance.
Following their quarterfinal loss, Israel played their final game against Jamaica in the 7th-place match. The game showcased a thrilling back-and-forth contest, with Israel eventually prevailing in a 8-7 tiebreaker. Jacob Silberlicht, Rob Schain, and Nate Solomon delivered crucial goals, and Max Krevsky scored the tying goal with 53 seconds left in regulation. In sudden-death overtime, Bryan Rotatori emerged as the hero, securing a 7th-place finish for Israel with his winning goal.
2023 Men’s World Lacrosse Championship marked a successful campaign for Israel, solidifying their 7th-place ranking in the global standings.