U.S. team wins lacrosse tournament with last-second goal
Americans defeated 45 other teams, including the world champion Canadians, to take home the top prize.
The U.S. defeated the reigning champions from Canada 9-8 on a buzzer beater. It was so close that the Canadians even asked the refs to double check the clock on instant replay.
"The fact that this game had to literally go to the last second speaks to the competition between the two teams," Tom Schreiber, the New York native who scored the winning goal, told the Baltimore Sun. "I have a ton of respect for those guys on the other side. I'm teammates with a few of them. In the indoor league I've gotten to know them, I know how competitive they are. In some ways it's a shame the game had to end that way...but we'll certainly take it."
The exciting match capped off a week-long tournament that brought thousands of athletes to Israel's shores. They came from more than 40 countries – including China, Australia, the Netherlands, and the U.K. Stefan Erber, a lacrosse player from Austria, had nothing but praise for his hosts. "Many thanks to the organizers, interns and especially the on-site staff (kitchen staff, drivers, dorm maintenance,...) which played a huge part in making this an outstanding event," he wrote on Facebook. "At any time we had the feeling that everybody was doing their utmost to solve any issue. Thanks a lot!"
Israel defeated Puerto Rico in the quarterfinals to come in 7th place at the tournament.
Australia and the Iroquois Nationals, a team of Native Americans, competed for third place. The Iroquis won the semifinal game on Friday night.
During the week, 160 games were televised across ESPN's stable of networks, making it the most widely available lacrosse event in history. In addition, besides the professional athletes, lacrosse hobbyists also were able to compete in their own league at the event.
“One thing an event can do is give a viewpoint of Israel they don’t normally see on the mainstream media. It’s been a great event,” the Federation of International Lacrosse’s Jim Scherr told local media.
Nikol Baglay, a 19-year-old from Israel, was one of the many people who helped organize the event. "A lot of kids are really falling in love with the sport," she told From The Grapevine. "People my age who started playing as kids are really seeing the sport turn into something great here. I'm really excited to see it all happen."
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