Ireland/Israel showdown slated for March 16th in Bayville, NY
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — The Israel men’s national lacrosse team is getting ready for the 2014 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championships.
The blue-and-white will begin preparation for its world debut with a March 16th exhibition game against 9th-ranked Ireland, on Sunday, March 16th at 2:00pm. The game will be held at Centre Island Beach Park in Bayville, NY. Admission is free of charge.
Fans are encouraged to take part in the festivities; Ireland fans are asked to wear green for St. Patrick’s Day, while Israel supporters are encouraged to dress in costume for Purim.
Israel received their draw for the world games over the weekend.
The blue-and-white will make their World Championship debut against 10th-ranked Sweden on July 11th at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park near Denver, Colorado. Although the Israeli program has made major strides since its’ 8th-place finish in the 2012 European Championships, Sweden, who won bronze in Europe, is a tough opening game. The two teams have never met.
Israel also drew pool play matches against 17-ranked Slovakia on July 12th and 25th-ranked South Korea on July 13th. Israel is 1-0 all-time against Slovakia, earning an 11-8 win at the European Championships. Israel and South Korea have never met.
Should the Israelis prevail in the four-team “Orange” pool, they’ll earn a staggered position in the 12-team World Championship playoffs. #1 USA, and #2 Canada, who together own all 11 previous gold medals, are expected to earn triple-byes to the semifinals, while two other powerhouses will be granted double-byes to the quarterfinals.
With 38 teams competing for gold, there is little margin for error. A single loss at any point in the tournament likely eliminates a “play in” team such as Israel, who must win five consecutive playoff games to take home gold.
If eliminated, Israel would still play consolation matches through July 18th to determine final position.