Tel Aviv’s Mike Grosz scored the first goal in program history just three minutes into the match, and European official Henning Schmidt reacted by halting play to present the ball to Israel head coach Bill Beroza.
“It was kind of surreal,” said Grosz. “It was really a special moment for our team and our program as a whole. We’ve really bonded as a family since training camp began in Ashkelon, and I think everyone on our team took pride in what we’ve accomplished so far.”
Israel sprinted out of the gate to a 6-0 lead before Turkey got on the board at 17:42. Turkey, playing in their first ever home international, rallied in the second half to cut the deficit to three goals, but Israel was able to maintain their lead and secure the first ever win for the program.
“Standing side by side with the Turkish team for the playing of Ha’Tikva was an amazing feeling,” said Beroza, who is a member of the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame and the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. “There’s
going to be a lot of firsts — but we don’t have much time to enjoy this moment — we must look forward.”
Grosz led Israel with four goals and three assists, while Matt Cherry scored two goals and three assists, and Richard Cheifitz scored twice. Dan Leventhal (+1 assist), Evan Goldstein (+1 assist), David Franklin,
Ben Bretter and David Lasday added singles. Jason Senter recorded one assist.
Hank Altschuler and David Dennenberg split time in goal, with Dennenberg earning the win.
MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM SCHEDULE/RESULTS
June 15 – Friendly – Israel 13, Turkey 9
June 17 – Friendly – Israel 16, Bulgaria 9
June 18 – Friendly vs. #8 Netherlands
June 19 – Friendly vs. #23 Switzerland
June 19 – Friendly vs. #9 Ireland
June 20 – Friendly vs. #16 Spain
June 20 – Friendly vs. #19 Italy
June 21 – Group play vs. #17 Slovakia
June 22 – Group play vs. #27 France
June 24 – Group play vs. #24 Norway
June 25 – Group play vs. #11 Wales