Update 4:19 p.m.: Team Israel opened the championship earlier today with a 19-4 win over Sweden. The team faces Slovakia on Saturday at 9:30 p.m. (Mountain Daylight Time).
Competition at the Federation of International Lacrosse World Championship begins today in Denver, Colo., with 38 nations participating. On site is William Beroza ’77, a Boston-based IBM executive and former Roanoke College lacrosse player, who is head coach of the Israeli men’s lacrosse team.
The team, competing for the first time in the FIL World Championship, is forging ahead, despite great unrest back home in Israel and increased security measures for the team in Denver. Contacted by email Thursday, Beroza said the team is focused on playing lacrosse while in Denver and is ready for the first match against Sweden today.
“We are all safe and secure here in Denver, although we did face some anti-Israeli, non-violent protests two days ago,” Beroza said. “While Team Israel plays lacrosse in Denver, we think about our friends and families in Israel and pray for their safety.”
Thursday, a letter from Israel Lacrosse Association Executive Director Scott Weiss, who brought Beroza on board as Team Israel’s head coach, appeared on the association’s website.
“We’re less than two days away from something we’ve been anticipating and building up to for years — Team Israel’s debut in the FIL Men’s World Lacrosse Championships — but quite frankly, our thoughts and our hearts are not here with us in Denver,” Weiss wrote. “We press forward, and continue onward with our mission to bring joy to the communities of Israel through sport during this difficult time.”
In other lacrosse world championship action, Tyler Rinko ’11 competed in a noon game today for the Turkey National Men’s Team.