Just over two months since making its debut in international play, Israel’s men’s lacrosse team has qualified for the 2014 World Lacrosse Championship to be held in Denver, Colorado.
Israel became the 28th nation eligible to compete in the World Championship due to its stellar play during its inaugural participation in the 2012 European Lacrosse Championship this summer in Amsterdam.
The men’s team swept its competition in pool play with a 4-0 record, finishing with a 7-5 record that included exhibition games, en route to an eight place ranking in the tournament.
Overall, Israel won four of its seven matches in tournament play including a close victory over 10th place Wales by a score of 14-12.
On the basis of performance in the European Championship, the Israel Lacrosse Association was awarded full membership to the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) earlier this week.
“We’re extremely pleased with how quickly our program has progressed,” said Israeli general manager Howard Borkan, who served as Chairman of the US National Team for nearly two decades before stepping down in 2010.
“We believe that we have positioned ourselves well to continue our rapid domestic growth as well as our international standing.”
The Israel Lacrosse Association was founded two years ago by 27-year-old Scott Neiss.
The Oceanside, NY-native came up with the idea for an Israeli lacrosse team while visiting Israel on a Birthright trip.
He made aliyah earlier this year to work at fulfilling his goal of the Israeli team qualifying for the 2014 World Championship.
Neiss is also the former deputy commissioner of the North American Lacrosse League.