Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/19/12
Team Philly claimed the gold medal Thursday at the JCC Maccabi Games at Rockland (N.Y.) JCC.
The JCC Maccabi Games are an annual multi-sports festival involving U-16 Jewish youth from around the world. Lacrosse teams will come from Philly, Baltimore, Great Britain and combined Hartford/Suffolk/Rockland/Richmond.
The Philly team, coached by Erica Spatz, went undefeated (6-0) and capped the three-day tourney Thursday by routing Baltimore, 15-5, in the Gold Medal game after whipping Great Britain, 19-9, in the semifinals.
Jesse Rubin, a rising freshman at Friends’ Central, was named the tourney MVP. She had 28 goals and five assists in the six games and dominated all week. Abby Goldstein, a rising sophonore at Lower Merion, also stood out on offense with 18 goals and four assists, Penn Charter rising sophomore Hannah Fox had 15 goals and five assists, while Baldwin School rising sophomore Eliza Mantelmacher had 14 goals and two assists.
In the gold medal game, Rubin poured in eight goals while Mantelmacher had two goals and two assists, Goldstein scored twice, Fox and Friends’ Central rising freshman Avital Schweitzer each had a goal and an assist and Ursuline Academy rising freshman Lexi Goldberg scored once.
Alex Freedman stood out in the goal all week, coming up with huge saves at the perfect times. During one of the wins over Baltimore, Freedman made a key save on a free position shot to end the first half to spark a strong second half and a victory for Team Philly.
Defensively, Lower Merion rising sophomore Devon Scharf was a standout. She slowed down the opposing fast break opportunities and also was a leader in settling the defense, Spatz said.
“The team really wanted to win gold for the first time since lacrosse has been instituted into the JCC Maccabi Games,” Spatz said. “They were determined and knew what it had to take, since we were playing Baltimore, who won gold last year.
“As a team we came up with a few goals to focus on. We slowed down their fast break and settled in on ‘D’ and then got up by at least five goals. The fact that these 11 girls on the team attend seven different schools and range from grades 8 to 11, it could have been hard for them to play as a ‘team’ on the field.
“All throughout the games, the team played hard as a true team, not having any one person doing all the work on the field. They worked together from Sunday until Friday, and it paid off. Their chemistry was amazing, and Laura (Patton) and I were astonished at how well each of them bonded with one another. Before the gold medal game, Alex (the goalie), said to the team “Do it for me guys!’
“She is aging out of the Maccabi games and this was the last time that they were playing as this team. When the game was over, and all the girls ran to Alex; it was awesome to know that they truly were working so hard for Alex.”
Spatz is an assistant coach at Glen Ridge (N.J.) and Patton is the head coach at Kings College in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Next year, the JCC Maccabi Games will be played in Orange County, CA.
Abby Goldstein, Wynnewood, PA, Lower Merion HS, 10th
Lexi Goldberg, Wilmington, DE, Ursuline Academy, 10th
Sophie Berger, Bryn Mawr, pA, Friends’ Central MS, 8th
Jesse Rubin, Bryn Mawr, PA, Friends’ Central, 9th
Avital Schweitzer, Bryn Mawr, PA, Friends’ Central, 9th
Julia Greitzer, Bryn Mawr, PA, The Baldwin School, 9th
Eliza Mantelmacher, Penn Valley, PA, The Baldwin School, 10th
Hannah Fox, Plymouth Meeting, PA, William Penn Charter School, 9th
Devon Scharf, Merion, PA, Lower Merion HS, 10th
Vanessa Auritt, Bryn Mawr, PA, The Baldwin School, 10th
Alex Freedman, Villanova, PA, Radnor HS, 11th