Israel Upsets Wales, Moves to Quarterfinals

The Israel men’s national lacrosse team earned a berth into the quarterfinals of the European Lacrosse Championships with a 14-13 win over No. 11 Wales at Amsterdam Bos on Sunday.

Israel (4-0) will meet either host No. 8 Netherlands or No. 13 Czech Republic on Wednesday at 2:30 PM. Striker Richard Cheifitz was dominant for the blue and white with seven goals in the win.

“[Cheifitz] was without a doubt our MVP tonight,” said Israel head coach Bill Beroza. “He was truly a leader for us; he played with a high level of discipline and composure which resonated with the rest of the team.”

Wales jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead before Israel had a possession, as David Howie scored on the opening faceoff, and Jack Murray rifled a goal just moments later.

Michael Pfeffer and Cheifitz answered back to notch the game at two goals apiece, but Wales scored three straight to take a 5-2 lead. Alex Jacobs cut the deficit to 5-3, before Cheifitz took over, notching five of the next six goals to give Israel the lead for good.

Israel was unable to build a strong lead, as the teams traded goals throughout the second half. Wales worked to erase the deficit in the final minutes, as Eoin Dunne cut the score to 14-13 with 1:14 remaining.

However, Israel’s Jesse Kane won a key faceoff and the blue and white maintained possession to run out the clock. Wales coaches made a desperation play with 19 seconds remaining, requesting an illegal stick review on Israel’s Ben Bretter. The stick was legal and Israel was able to cruise to victory.

In addition to Cheifitz’ heroics, Jacobs scored four goals, while Pfeffer, Bretter and Elan Daisudov added singles. Hank Altschuler played the full 80 minutes in goal for Israel, making nine saves. Netherlands plays Czech Republic tomorrow at 5:00 PM.

Additional caps – Abraham Brandes, Noam Goldstein, Yochanan Katz, Mathew Markman, Joshua Pankin, Roey Ringel, Ben Silverman, Matthew Spielman, Alex Tress

Israel’s men’s and women’s festival teams both went 2-0 on Monday; full recap and photos to come.