JMU roundup: Duo join Israeli national women’s lacrosse team

Daily Staff Reports – sports@nvdaily.com

TEL AVIV, Israel — James Madison sophomore Ali Curwin and JMU alumna Elyssa Rosenbaum have been named to the 2013 player roster for the Israel National Team which will compete in the 2013 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Cup.

The Israel Lacrosse Association announced the roster for the World Cup, to be played at the Oshawa Civic Recreation Centre near Toronto, Canada, from July 11-20.

Israel’s roster is composed of both Israeli players, as well as members of the Jewish diaspora, in accordance with the rules and regulations the FIL. The roster was selected after a series of tryouts at HaYarkon Sportek in Tel Aviv and The Peddie School in Hightstown, N.J., as well as an extensive interview process.

“I had to make some very tough decisions in narrowing down this group to our final 20-player roster,” said Israel head coach Lauren Paul Norris in a news release. “Taking into consideration on-field talent, connection to Israel, and commitment to the organization’s missions, I believe that we have put together a very strong squad that will undoubtedly set the stage for the future of women’s lacrosse in Israel.”

Curwin, a starter for the 19th-ranked Dukes, is among JMU’s leaders in points (13), goals (9), assists (2) and draw controls (8). Rosenbaum, a 2009 JMU graduate, competed in gymnastics for the Dukes but played lacrosse in high school.

“I’ve always been proud to be Jewish, and I think that it’s a great opportunity to represent my heritage,” Curwin said in a news release. “I’ve always felt affiliated with Israel and now I get the chance to ‘return’ to and represent my country while playing a sport that I love. My grandpa, and biggest role model, had the chance to play in the Maccabi Games, and I have always wanted to follow in his footsteps.

“The most memorable moment of my lacrosse career is playing in the state championship game for New York state, coming up just short in double overtime, and being named to the all-tournament team. This is because when I was a freshman on the team we had a losing record, but as a team my senior year we worked hard and made it to the state finals.

“I am playing in honor of the Israel Sports Center for the Disabled, because I want everyone to have the opportunity to participate in sports. Athletics have always been a huge part of my life and brought me so much enjoyment and I want everyone — regardless of disabilities — to share my experience.”

Rosenbaum is currently participating in Otzma Israel, a 10-month service-based volunteer leadership program in Israel.

“I’ve felt a strong connection to Israel ever since my first grade class took a ‘pretend trip’ here when I was six,” Rosenbaum said in a news release. “After spending the last year volunteering, teaching and living like an Israeli, I feel a much stronger connection. I’m very excited to have the chance to represent Israel in the Women’s World Cup.

“Playing [and starting] in my first-ever lacrosse game was my most memorable experience with the sport. I was put into the game in a summer league as a 13-year-old after only attending one practice. I didn’t know the rules or the positions, but I loved it and it inspired me to learn the game and play more.”

“I’m playing in honor of SHALVA — The Association for Mentally & Physically Challenged Children in Israel, which provides services to more than 500 participants with special needs, including infants, children, adolescents and young adults via a plethora of tailored programs and round-the-clock therapies, seven days a week. The Hebrew letters shin, lamed, vav, heh comprising the name SHALVA stand for shichrur l’mishpacha v’layeled hamugbal: ‘liberating the child with special needs and their family.’ In Hebrew, the word shalva means ‘peace of mind.'”

The team will train July 1-7 in Ashkelon, Israel, before flying as a team to Toronto on July 8.

Israel’s inaugural World Cup match is a tough test, as the blue-and-white open against No. 10 Germany on July 11, before meeting No. 8 Scotland, and No. 16 South Korea to wrap up pool play. Two wins will guarantee Israel an appearance in the 12-team playoff.

‘Crossover’ matches against Hong Kong and No. 7 Japan will determine seeding and serve as tiebreakers if necessary. The World Cup playoffs begin on July 17.

In conjunction with the Israel Lacrosse Tzedakah Program, each player will be competing in honor of a charity of their choosing. A portion of the national team’s general fundraising efforts has been committed to each charity.


HARRISONBURG — Due to several inches of snow falling in the Shenandoah Valley Sunday and Monday, James Madison’s home baseball game hosting Liberty scheduled for Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. has been pushed back one day to Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.

JMU sits at 13-9 overall and 6-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association after taking two of three from George Mason over the weekend. The Dukes sit third according to winning percentage but in a virtual tie according to games back.

Liberty is 15-9 overall and 4-2 in the Big South.