Defenseman Chris Friedman signs an autograph for a young fan during a visit to a school in Ashkelon.

Defenseman Chris Friedman signs an autograph for a young fan during a visit to a school in Ashkelon.

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — The Israel Lacrosse Association will again partner with Amazing Israel (www.amazingisrael.com) to offer the second annual “Amazing Israel Lacrosse” program, a 10-day unique Taglit-Birthright trip, in June of 2015.

In addition to touring the country, participants will teach the sport to young Israeli athletes, train, and compete in exhibition games against the Israel men’s and women’s national teams.

The 10-day trip, which departs from Newark Liberty International Airport on June 22nd, will be limited to 20 men and 20 women, who are either active players or recent graduates of an NCAA-sanctioned lacrosse program. Players with club lacrosse experience may also be considered.

The Birthright/USA All-Stars were victorious in 2014, with two wins in the three-game series.

The Birthright/USA All-Stars were victorious in 2014, with two wins in the three-game series.

The trip is specifically geared for players to experience all Israel has to offer, through the lessons learned in lacrosse, and while promoting the grassroots development of lacrosse throughout Israel. The trip will use lacrosse as a platform to educate, engage and energize various Israeli communities while gaining a better understanding of what Israel and the region have to offer in sport.

“We’re big believers in using sport as a platform to help connect Jews with Israel,” said Scott Neiss, who founded Israel Lacrosse after participating in an Amazing Israel trip in 2010. “Many players with aspirations to compete at the NCAA level are justifiably so focused on training and attending recruiting camps, so Israel takes a backseat. This is a great opportunity for Jewish athletes to take a free trip to Israel, while spreading their passion for the game internationally.”

Trip participants at the "Mega Event" in Caesarea in 2014.

Trip participants at the “Mega Event” in Caesarea in 2014.

Taglit-Birthright Israel is a not-for-profit educational organization that sponsors free ten-day heritage trips to Israel for Jewish young adults, aged 18-26. Taglit is the Hebrew word for discovery. During their trip, participants, most of whom are visiting Israel for the first time, are encouraged to discover new meaning in their personal Jewish identity and connection to Jewish history and culture.

Exhibition games, pitting the Israel men’s and women’s national teams against the Birthright squads, are being planned during the trip.

Birthright/USA All-Star captain Ryan Hunter, who plays for Ohio State University, pictured with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sara Netanyahu.

Birthright/USA All-Star captain Ryan Hunter, who plays for Ohio State University, pictured with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sara Netanyahu.

Registration for the trip will open on Wednesday, February 3rd (with early registration on February 2nd). Prior to registration, players who are interested in participating are asked to submit their information to Israel Lacrosse coaches and management at the following link:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?usp=drive_web&formkey=dDZKTHhyUU42bW1wUGhTdFFmOVhfcnc6MA#gid=0
Please note that all regular Taglit-Birthright eligibility rules apply and there are no guarantees for placement

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On December 2, #GivingTuesday, we ask the entire Israel Lacrosse family to help us launch new lacrosse programs nationally.

On December 2, #GivingTuesday, we ask the entire Israel Lacrosse family to help us launch new lacrosse programs nationally.

On December 2, #GivingTuesday, we ask the entire Israel Lacrosse family to help us launch new lacrosse programs nationally. In January, we’ll be kicking our youth development initiatives into high gear, with a goal of establishing 40 lacrosse teams by the end of the calendar year.

Israel Lacrosse is currently in four cities: Ashkelon (Makif Alef and Voldenberg Field), Netanya (Ort Leibovich School and Poleg Sportek), Ramla (Park Ofer) and Tel Aviv (B’Nai Brit and HaYarkon Sportek). With your help, we’ll be able to get more equipment, more goals, more uniforms and more coaches to strengthen our participation in those cities, while expanding to several new locations, such as Ashdod, Haifa, and Petach Tikvah.

Just as Black Friday and Cyber Monday mark the start of the holiday shopping season, Giving Tuesday kicks off the end-of-year giving season. After two days of getting, Giving Tuesday is a worldwide platform to encourage people to give back.

With the help of the entire Israel Lacrosse community, we hope to have the largest online giving day in our history on #GivingTuesday, with a goal of raising $20,000 to support the “Go National!” program.

Every dollar raised for youth lacrosse -- up to $20,000 -- will be matched to help house, feed, and clothe members of the Israel Lacrosse family who were recently drafted into the Israel Defense Forces.

Every dollar raised for youth lacrosse — up to $20,000 — will be matched to help house, feed, and clothe members of the Israel Lacrosse family who were recently drafted into the Israel Defense Forces.

An anonymous supporter has stepped to the plate with unprecedented generosity to double the impact of your contribution.

Please visit http://www.razoo.com/story/Israel-Lacrosse-Go-National/ on December 2nd and help us engage and energize youth of all backgrounds in Israel through the shared passion of lacrosse.

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Barak Netanya LC was today announced as the second of at least four men's teams competing in the inaugural season of the IPLL.

Barak Netanya LC was today announced as the second of at least four men’s teams competing in the inaugural season of the IPLL.

NETANYA, ISRAEL — The Society Amutah for Sport and Youth Development in Netanya, which operates the men’s professional basketball team, is pleased to announce that it is bringing the Israel Premier Lacrosse League to Netanya.

Barak Netanya LC was today announced as the second of at least four men’s teams competing in the inaugural season of the IPLL.

Netanya LC has previously appeared in several exhibition games to showcase the sport across Israel.

Netanya LC has previously appeared in several exhibition games to showcase the sport across Israel.

The club is expected to play its’ home games at Wingate Institute, and will operate in partnership with the Barak Netanya basketball club. Participation in the Premier League is contingent upon the club obtaining a membership of at least 100 youth lacrosse players in the city.

The Premier League, which kicks off its inaugural season in Summer 2015, will be comprised of primarily collegiate players with NCAA eligibility remaining. The league previously announced Haifa as its’ first club last month.

“We are very excited to welcome lacrosse to the Barak Netanya family,” said Barak Netanya BC chairman Benny Burnley. “The growth of lacrosse in our city has been remarkable, and we are thrilled to further introduce the sport at a high level under the Barak umbrella.”

The "Premier League" will be comprised of primarily active collegiate lacrosse players in at least four major Israeli cities.

The “Premier League” will be comprised of primarily active collegiate lacrosse players in at least four major Israeli cities.

The partnership with Barak Netanya BC, which has a rich history since its’ establishment in 1959, includes joint marketing initiatives, signage and on-floor contests featuring lacrosse at Yeshuron Hall, and a basketball-lacrosse charity challenge doubleheader in May.

The Israel Lacrosse Association will also have a strong presence at Barak Netanya BC’s home game against first-place Ramat Gan on December 30th, which is being billed as “Lacrosse Day in Netanya”.

“The storied brand and tradition of Barak Netanya is now synonymous with giving back to the Netanya community,” said Rachel Colburn, who was instrumental in establishing the Sticks For Kids program nationally in Israel, a program that is being incubated by the Kids Connect Network. “I’m delighted that we will be able to expand those efforts by giving lacrosse players the opportunity to serve as role models and ambassadors to engage, educate and energize the at-risk youth of the city.”

Premier League athletes will have internship and volunteer opportunities in coaching young lacrosse players in their city, as well as in marketing, public relations and operations for their club. Affordable housing will also be made available to visiting players in the “Lacrosse Embassy” of each city.

Athletes who are interested in competing in Netanya, or elsewhere in the Israel Premier Lacrosse League can register at http://www.israellacrosse.com/IPLL — Players of all nationalities and religious backgrounds are encouraged to participate.

Barak Netanya LC will begin an international search for their head coach position this week.

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An ownership group led by Daniel and Wendy Kraft are bringing the Israel Premier League to Haifa.

An ownership group led by Daniel and Wendy Kraft are bringing the Israel Premier League to Haifa.

HAIFA, ISRAEL — Israel men’s national team head coach Bill Beroza will be manning the sidelines in Haifa this summer, as the city was named the first of at least four men’s teams competing in the inaugural season of the Israel Premier Lacrosse League.

A member of both the US Lacrosse National Hall of Fame, and the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, Beroza was a three-time medalist for Team USA (1978, 1982 and 1986) amongst other accolades.

The Premier League, which kicks off its inaugural season in Summer 2015, will be comprised of primarily collegiate players with NCAA eligibility remaining.

Hall of Famer Bill Beroza will be leading Haifa LC in 2015.

Hall of Famer Bill Beroza will be leading Haifa LC in 2015.

An ownership group led by Daniel and Wendy Kraft spearheaded the initiative to bring the club to Haifa, which has a strong partnership with the city of Boston. Israel Lacrosse recently held a Showcase event at Harvard and Boston University to drive interest in the expansion.

“My family and I are thrilled to be part of the Haifa franchise in the new league,” said Kraft, who was instrumental in establishing a lacrosse scholarship fund to send Israeli high school athletes abroad. “This exciting project combines two loves and passions for our family: lacrosse and the State of Israel. We look forward to spreading the beauty of this sport to the youth population of Haifa.”

Haifa LC is expected to play home games at Kefar-Galim Training Grounds; participation in the Premier League is contingent upon the club obtaining a membership of at least 100 youth lacrosse players in the city.

The "Premier League" will be comprised of primarily active collegiate lacrosse players in at least four major Israeli cities.

The “Premier League” will be comprised of primarily active collegiate lacrosse players in at least four major Israeli cities.

Beroza, a Boston resident who recently led the blue-and-white to a No. 7 world ranking, now adds coaching the “green-and-white” to his duties with Israel Lacrosse.

“I’m excited to spend time in Haifa to help further lacrosse there,” said Beroza. “We expect Haifa, and the entire Premier League, to be a strong feeder for our World team.”

Premier League athletes will have internship and volunteer opportunities in coaching young lacrosse players in their city, as well as in marketing, public relations and operations for their club. Affordable housing will also be made available to visiting players in the “Lacrosse Embassy” of each city.

Athletes who are interested in competing in Haifa, or elsewhere in the Israel Premier Lacrosse League can register at http://www.israellacrosse.com/IPLL — Players of all nationalities and religious backgrounds are encouraged to participate.

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Israel will hold tryouts for its' first ever U-19 World Cup on December 31st in Ashkelon, Israel.

Israel will hold tryouts for its’ first ever U-19 World Cup on December 31st in Ashkelon, Israel.

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — The Israel Lacrosse Association has announced tryout dates for the national team which will compete at the 2015 FIL Women’s U-19 World Cup, to be held in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Israel will be sending two squads to Scotland to compete in the World Cup and the International Lacrosse Festival. The delegation will be composed of both Israeli players, along with several Jewish players from abroad.

The event marks Israel’s first international competition at the U-19 level. The blue-and-white join Colombia, Finland, South Korea and Uganda as first-time participants.

The invitation-only tryout will be held on December 31 at Voldenberg Field in Ashkelon, Israel. Players must hold Israeli citizenship or Jewish ancestry to participate. Athletes who are competing on the U-19 or U-17 National Developmental Program will automatically qualify for the tryout.

Players interested in being considered for the tryout should contact Julia Szafman at julia@lacrosse.co.il to schedule an interview. The team will not be hosting a tryout in the United States.

Additional sessions may be held to further evaluate Israel-based players.

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Kyle Bergman recorded a goal and an assist on Sunday in exhibition action against Boston University.

Kyle Bergman recorded a goal and an assist on Sunday in exhibition action against Boston University.

BOSTON, MA — The Israel men’s national team battled back from a 12-6 deficit to tie the game, but ultimately fell to Boston University in a 13-12 thriller, in exhibition play at Nickerson Field on Sunday.

Josh Offit’s goal with just under two minutes remaining capped the six-goal run, and deadlocked the score at 12-12, but the Terriers answered back with the decisive goal, with just 43 seconds left.

The blue-and-white had several opportunities in the waning seconds but were unable to force overtime.

Offit (three goals, one assist) and Louis Dubick (three goals) led Israel in scoring, while Mike Stone (two goals) and Ari Sussman (two goals) also chipped in. Kyle Bergman (one goal, one assist) and Noah Miller (one goal) added singles, and Joel Derechinsky cracked the scoresheet with an assist.

Israel jumped out to an early 2-0 lead to start the game, but BU came to life with a six-goal run to take command, and led for most of the day.

Mike Horowitz (43:00, 14 saves, 12 GA) and Ted Bergman (17:00, 4 saves, 1 GA) saw action in goal; Bergman was dealt the loss.

Additional caps: Alec Bialosky, Matthew Caple, Richard Cheifitz, Adam Crystal, Matthew Greenblatt, Mark Jutkowitz, Noah Knopf, Andrew Landsman, Eric Loreaux, Seth Mahler, Nate Menninger, Garrett Naimie, Jonathan Rathauser, Jacob Reiner, Eytan Saperstein, Alex Schoen, Benjamin Smith, Aaron Tracy

Other action Sunday (at New Balance Field)

U-15 Boys: Laxachusetts 14, Israel 4
U-19 Men: Laxachusetts 14, Israel 3
U-15 Girls: Israel 9, Laxachusetts 8
Womens (U-19 / Senior mixed): Israel 13, Brandeis University 3

Saturday night results:

Harvard 14, Israel 7

Israel controlled much of the first quarter, but an eight-goal run by Harvard in the middle periods powered the 2014 Ivy League champions to a 14-7 exhibition win on Saturday night at Soldiers Field.

Kyle Bergman scored two goals for Israel to open the game, as the blue-and-white led the Crimson 2-1 after one quarter.

Holding a 4-3 advantage midway through the second, Harvard kicked off their run, taking a 6-3 lead at the break, and a 12-3 advantage late into the third quarter as Israel was held scoreless for over 20 minutes.

Louis Dubick (two goals, one assist), Bergman (two goals), Ari Sussman (one goal, one assist) and Josh Offit (two assists) led the Israeli offense, while Noach Miller (one goal) and Mike Stone (one goal) added singles.

Mike Horowitz (33:00, 8 saves, 7 GA), Ted Bergman (17:00, 5 saves, 5 GA), and Andrew Landsman (10:00, 2 saves, 2 GA) split time in goal.

Additional caps: Richard Cheifitz, Adam Crystal, Joel Derechinsky, Harrison Freid, Matt Greenblatt, Mark Jutkowitz, Eric Loreaux, Seth Mahler, Nate Menninger, Garrett Naimie, Casey Rahn, Jonathan Rathauser, Alex Schoen, Jacob Silberlicht, Mike Stone, Sam Talkow, Aaron Tracy

Other action Sunday (at Harvard Turfs)

Womens: Israel 10, Smith College 4
Masters (40+): Atlantic Sportswear 11, Israel 6

Please check back at this page for a full recap for the women’s game vs. Smith College and additional photos.

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Israel head coach Bill Beroza leads the blue-and-white in their first major action since their quarterfinal appearance in the FIL World Lacrosse Championships.

Israel head coach Bill Beroza leads the blue-and-white in their first major action since their quarterfinal appearance in the FIL World Lacrosse Championships.

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — 17 players from the Israeli squad which appeared in the quarterfinals of the FIL World Lacrosse Championships will join an equal number of newcomers to the blue-and-white this weekend in a Showcase event in Boston, featuring a pair of exhibition games against Harvard University and Boston University.

The roster includes players such as Seth Mahler, Noach Miller and Jacob Silberlicht, who made the 5,500-mile trip from Tel Aviv to Beantown.

The October 17-19 event, which also features the Israel’s women’s elite team in exhibition play against Smith College, plus girls and boys U-19, U-15 and Masters teams representing Israel, is being held in support of the launch of youth lacrosse programs in Haifa, which is Boston’s sister city in the Jewish State.

Limited roster spots are still available for the U-19 and U-15 squads; please contact Julia Szafman at julia@lacrosse.co.il to register.

Harvard is coming off a banner year in which it captured the program’s first Ivy League championship in 24 years and received an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament. The Crimson return 28 letterwinners from last season’s squad.

Boston University begins its’ second varsity season this Spring; the squad impressed in their debut season of Patriot League play in 2014, with almost entirely Freshmen on their roster, securing wins over Lafayette and Holy Cross.

An equipment drive for youth lacrosse players in the Jewish State will also be conducted in conjunction with the game. Please bring donated equipment to hand down to young Israeli players. Free t-shirts will be given to those who bring the most equipment.

NO POS NAME HOMETOWN / COLLEGE
2 M/FO Alex Schoen Short Hills, NJ / Syracuse*
3 LSM Casey Rahn Princeton, NJ / UMass
4 LSM Benjamin Smith Longmeadow, MA / Harvard
5 M Matt Caple Wellesley, MA / Tufts
6 D Eric Loreaux Philadelphia, PA / Boston University*
7 M Jacob Silberlicht Netanya, Israel / Hobart
8 G Ted Bergman Philadelphia, PA / Wesleyan
10 D Jonathan Rathauser Montgomery, NJ / McGill
11 M Joel Derechinsky Annapolis, MD / Gordon
12 M Richard Cheifitz Fair Lawn, NJ / Kean
13 M/FO Sam Talkow Delray Beach, FL / Boston University
14 M Mike Stone Wellesley, MA / Middlebury
15 D Nate Menninger Pittsburgh, PA / Virginia
17 M Aaron Tracy Tel Aviv, Israel / Kenyon
18 M Seth Mahler Ashkelon, Israel / Whittier
19 D Eytan Saperstein Hewlett, NY / Tufts
23 F Jeff Cohen Syosset, NY / Harvard
24 LSM Alec Bialosky Moreland Hills, OH / Tufts
25 M Josh Offit Bethesda, MD / Duke
27 D Adam Crystal Baldwin, NY / Drexel
28 G Jacob Reiner Farmington, CT / Clark
29 M/FO Matt Greenblatt Gaithersburg, MD / Ithaca
31 D Mark Jutkowitz Bethesda, MD / Maryland
32 F Louis Dubick Potomac, MD / Maryland
33 F Ari Sussman New Haven, CT / Dartmouth
35 G Mike Horowitz Randolph, NJ / Muhlenberg
37 F Max Cohen Hewlett, NY / Hofstra
38 G Andrew Landsman Norwalk, CT / Ithaca
40 F Matt Hull Smithtown, NY / Harvard
41 F Noach Miller Tel Aviv, Israel / Vermont
42 LSM Noah Knopf New York, NY / Harvard
43 M Kyle Bergman New York, NY / Drexel
44 M Garrett Naimie Cape Neddick, ME / New England College
56 D Harrison Freid Needham, MA / St. John’s

Head Coach: Bill Beroza
Assistant Coaches: Pete Ginnegar, Howard Offit, Eric Wolf

Israel Lacrosse Boston Showcase Schedule

Saturday, October 18th
6:00 PM – Israel (40+) vs. Atlantic Sportswear (Soldier Turf at Harvard University)
7:00 PM – Israel (Women) vs. Smith College (Soldier Turf at Harvard University)
8:00 PM – Israel (Men) vs. Harvard University (Soldier Field at Harvard University)

Sunday, October 19th
8:00 AM – Israel (U-15 Girls) vs. Laxachusetts (New Balance Field at BU)
9:00 AM – Israel (U-19 Women) vs. Brandeis University (New Balance Field at BU)
10:30 AM – Israel (U-19 Men) vs. Laxachusetts (New Balance Field at BU)
12:00 PM – Israel (U-15 Boys) vs. Laxachusetts (New Balance Field at BU)
12:00 PM – Free Youth Clinic (Nickerson Field at BU)
2:00 PM – Israel (Men) vs. Boston University (Nickerson Field at BU)

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Garrett Naimie (Vermont Sr. B / New England College) was one of two Jewish Americans from the Voyageurs who were invited to Israel camp.  Athletes "south of the border" from the BBL (Boston) and PBLA (Philadelphia) also took part.

Garrett Naimie (Vermont Sr. B / New England College) was one of two Jewish Americans from the Voyageurs who were invited to Israel camp. Athletes “south of the border” from the BBL (Boston) and PBLA (Philadelphia) also took part.

OAKVILLE, CANADA — The Israel men’s national team kicked off their campaign in preparation for the 2015 FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championships with a tryout camp this past weekend at Toronto Rock Athletic Centre. The three-day camp was the first ever action for the blue-and-white’s national box program, and featured not only Israeli players, but also Jewish athletes from Canada and the United States, all with varying levels of experience in the indoor game.

The weekend culminated with a full exhibition game against CLA Select on Sunday afternoon, played under FIL rules. Israel was neck-and-neck with the Select squad early, but Buffalo Bandits draft pick Dylan Goddard helped break a 3-3 tie and the more experienced Canadian squad broke open the game with a 10-goal run. Goddard finished with six goals and four assists in the 16-6 win.

Ashkelon resident Seth Mahler (Whittier) was one of several Israeli players who made the long trip to Oakville to attend the tryout camp.

Ashkelon resident Seth Mahler (Whittier) was one of several Israeli players who made the long trip to Oakville to attend the tryout camp.

Zachary Pall scored the first ever goal for Israel’s box program, on a breakaway opportunity on the power play at 5:32 to tie the game at 1-1. The two teams traded scores before the Select team took command of the game midway through the second quarter.

The blue-and-white were held scoreless for just under 30 minutes until Garrett Naimie scored on the power play, and Kevin Harper followed it up with another score just five seconds later off a Pall faceoff win.

Several Jewish Canadians such as Dalton Lundy (Clarington Jr. B / Hartford) suited up for Israel.

Several Jewish Canadians such as Dalton Lundy (Clarington Jr. B / Hartford) suited up for Israel.

Naimie (one goal, two assists), Harper (two goals), Pall (one goal, one assist), and Eric Wolf (two assists) led Israel in scoring, while Seth Mahler (one goal), Sam Mishkind (one goal) and Jacob Silberlicht (one assist) also chipped in.

With the primary purpose of the game being player evaluation, four Team Israel goalies were dressed and saw action for both teams. Andrew Copeland (30:00, 26 saves, 3 GA), Jerryd Jensen (30:00, 15 saves, 2 GA), Mike Horowitz (30:00, 13 saves, 7 GA) and Bill Beroza (30:00, 16 saves, 7 GA) split time equally; Copeland was credited the win, while Beroza was dealt the loss.

Benjamin Silverman (Nepean Jr. B / Bishops), a Jewish Canadian who attended Tel Aviv University on an exchange program, saw significant action for Israel in the 2012 European Championships.

Benjamin Silverman (Nepean Jr. B / Bishops), a Jewish Canadian who attended Tel Aviv University on an exchange program, saw significant action for Israel in the 2012 European Championships.

Israel, which expects to name a 35-man roster in the upcoming weeks, will reconvene at the European National Team Invitational, when they take on 4th-ranked Czech Republic, 7th-ranked Ireland, and fellow upstart Finland in exhibition play in Prague.

The Israel Lacrosse Association wishes a “Todah Rabah” (thank you) and a “Chag Sameach” (happy holiday) to our Canadian friends who made our first box appearance possible — especially the players and coaches of the Select team, the officials, volunteers, and staff of the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre.

Additional caps: Andrew Alderman, Joshua Berger, Danny Bialosky, Adam Culbertson, Max Gurowski, Ben Herman, Matt Levine, Brendan Lundy, Dalton Lundy, Noach Miller, Jonathan Rathauser, Dave Robinson, Ben Silverman

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The "Premier League" will be comprised of primarily active collegiate lacrosse players in at least four major Israeli cities.

The “Premier League” will be comprised of primarily active collegiate lacrosse players in at least four major Israeli cities.

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — The Israel Premier Lacrosse League (IPLL) will officially kick off its’ inaugural season in summer of 2015, with 4-6 men’s teams competing in major cities across the Jewish State.

The league will be comprised of primarily collegiate players with NCAA eligibility remaining, and will operate with the purpose of developing future professional and international players.

With a focus on the next generation, Premier League teams will only be granted to Israeli clubs with memberships of at least 100 youth lacrosse players, and Premier League athletes will have internship and volunteer opportunities in coaching those young lacrosse enthusiasts — as well as in marketing, public relations and operations for their club. Affordable housing will also be made available to visiting players in the “Lacrosse Embassy” of each city.

“Our focus is all about the kids,” said Israel youth development director David Lasday. “We want to give collegiate athletes the opportunity to give back, while keeping their game sharp during their offseason. Our facilities, our coaches, and everything else Israel has to offer in sport make us the perfect destination for active NCAA players.”

The Israeli club circuit has held dozens of exhibition games to showcase the sport since 2011, and has declared a champion each year, but 2015 will mark its’ first full, competitive season.

Athletes who are interested in competing in the Israel Premier Lacrosse League can register at http://www.israellacrosse.com/IPLL – Players of all nationalities and religious backgrounds are encouraged to participate.

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Israel will hold tryouts for the 2015 European Championship squad this February in Ashkelon, Israel.

Israel will hold tryouts for the 2015 European Championship squad this February in Ashkelon, Israel.

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — The Israel Lacrosse Association has announced that Kelsey MacDonald has been named head coach of the Israel women’s national team which will compete at the 2015 European Lacrosse Championships, held in Nymburk, Czech Republic, from August 6-16.

MacDonald joins the blue-and-white after spending four seasons as head coach at Fort Lewis College, where she inherited a program in 2010 that had won just one game in its first two seasons (1-18). Under MacDonald’s guidance, the program amassed a 31-29 record, including its’ most successful season in the program’s six-year history in 2014, with a 10-7 record, finishing runner-up in the inaugural Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference tournament.

“Kelsey brings a great passion for the game and an energy that will benefit not just our Euro team, but our entire program,” said Israel women’s committee chair Katie Mazer, who led the coaching search. “Her past experience and commitment to the development of the sport is strongly aligned with our mission to grow the game in Israel. We’re very excited to welcome Kelsey to Israel.”

MacDonald, who is a native of Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, will be relocating to Israel in January to begin the team selection process.

MacDonald, who is a native of Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, will be relocating to Israel in January to begin the team selection process.

MacDonald, who is a native of Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, will be relocating to Israel in January to begin the team selection process. Formal tryouts for the 18-player squad are expected to be held in early February, in Asheklon, Israel, and the team will practice 3-4 times weekly in preparation for EC15. Per national policy, Israel’s European Championship squads will be composed of only Israel-based players.

“Kelsey is a very bright and successful coach,” added Lauren Paul Norris, who serves as head coach for Israel’s world team. “I am so excited that she will be joining the organization, and helping us grow lacrosse in Israel. We are very lucky to have someone of her caliber working with our athletes, and I look forward to working with her in the future.”

In addition to her coaching experience at Fort Lewis, MacDonald served as director for the Durango Youth Girls Lacrosse program. In the summer of 2012, she coached the Durangatangs, Durango’s high school’s club team, to their first ever Vail Shootout appearance. The Durangatangs were honored by a players’ All-Tournament selection and the coaching staffs’ US Lacrosse “Keepers of Lacrosse” award.

Before her time at Fort Lewis, MacDonald served as an assistant coach, and as interim head coach, at Wellesley College for two seasons, and an assistant and strength and conditioning coach at her alma mater, Plymouth State (N.H.) University, for one year. A four-year starter at Plymouth State in both lacrosse and soccer, MacDonald still holds the NCAA Division III record for ground balls (387), and is a member of the Plymouth State Athletic Hall of Fame.

Israel’s women’s squad made their international debut at the 2013 FIL World Cup in Oshawa, finished with a 5-3 record, including statement wins over #6 Scotland and #12 Germany in pool play, as well as a victory over #10 New Zealand in the playoffs. The finish earned the blue-and-white a #8 world ranking, good for fourth in Europe behind #4 England, #5 Wales and #6 Scotland.

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