Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

Israel Moves To World Lacrosse Championships

Israel, in a stunning 15-1 over Germany, has advanced to the FIL World Lacrosse Championship quarterfinals

By: Caitlin Marceau

Published: July 16th, 2014 in Sports » Israel

Israel is playing to win at the FIL World Lacrosse Championships, and if they keep it up, they just might. The team, which was only formed in 2010, has won all five of their games for a total of 88 goals in tournaments to date, with only 18 combined goals against them.

Their latest game, a 15-1 defying win over 6th-ranked Germany – this is FIL, not FIFA – has secured them a place in the quarterfinals. Although the US and, as always, Canada are favoured to win, there’s a chance that Israel may surprise the world and take home the top spot. Though you have to ask: why are the Israelis playing so well at lacrosse?

“Every other team is playing for a medal. We’re playing for the people. That’s what separates us from every other team,” forward Noach Miller said in an interview with The Times Of Israel. “Because every time we step on that field, we represent something bigger than just the lacrosse team.”

The conflict between Israel and Hamas has been weighing heavily on everyone’s mind, and doubly so when it comes to the Israeli lacrosse team. Many of the players, including Miller and team captain Matt Cherry, will be joining the Israeli Defense Forces come the end of the tournament. Although Miller grew up in Burlington, Vermont, he now lives in Tel Aviv. The struggle between Palestinians and Israelis is one that matters to him, and while it’s a culture shock to some, it’s a reality for his team.

“I’ll paint a picture for you: With a lacrosse coach in the United States, a parent may come up and say, ‘What’s your plan if there’s thunder?’ When we’re coaching we have parents come up to us and say, ‘What are you going to do if there’s a rocket attack? But you have to go on living your life — it’s the Israeli way,” he said during the interview.

Although who’s going to win the lacrosse tournament is on everyone’s mind, peace between Palestinians and Israel is not forgotten. For this tournament, Miller has written both the Hebrew and Arabic word for ‘peace’ on a piece of white piece of tape which he’s placed on the side of his helmet, as he and his team compete for more than just a medal.

Attackman Ari Sussman, who currently leads the Lacrosse tournament with 30 points, scored three goals and two assists in match against Germany.

Today, they face Australia as these World Championships continue. It’s currently being broadcast live on ESPN 3.


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