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November 29, 1991 - Image 49

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-11-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

SPORTS

Eli Tiomkin
winds up for
another shot
on goal.

P 1: gsi liriTitees

The 22-year•old freshmen are helping

Photos by Dan ie l Lippitt

Oakland University's soccer team

to another winning season.

David Ankori practices
his defense.

M■ 11111 ■ MIIIIMMIll

NOAM M.M. NEUSNER

Staff Writer

SRAELI YOUTHS HAVE A
custom after their obligatory
three-year stint in the army:
get on a plane and don't come
back for a couple of years.
But for two former
soldiers, traveling to far-
flung locales like Thailand
or Venezuela didn't have the
same appeal as the soccer
field.
Recruited by an Israeli
scout, Eli Tiomkin and
David Ankori took partial
scholarships at Oakland
University to enjoy the post-
army life on a soccer field.
Gary Parsons, OU's soccer
coach, has a tradition of
looking overseas for some
extra talent. He has had
players from Trinidad, Lib-
eria, Antigua and Sweden,
among others.
He also has made OU a
consistent winner, taking
them to the Division II
NCAA soccer playoffs nine
out of his 11 years at the
helm. Last week, the
Pioneers got beaten by
Sonoma State of California,

3-2, in the first round of the
playoffs.
For Tiomkin and Ankori,
an athletic scholarship was
one way to relax after the
rigor of Israeli army life.
Even during preseason this
past August, the wear and
tear of two-a-day practices
couldn't compare to army
basic training.
"I can't say it was the
hardest time I ever had, es-
pecially after the army. You
have good food, plenty of
sleep, hot showers, and com-
pared to basic training, you
have no pressure," said
Tiomkin, who hails from
Raanana, near Tel Aviv.
"You can't even compare
it," said Ankori, from
Rehovot.
Both players arrived at
OU from different paths.
Ankori, who is called "Didi"
by family and friends, had
planned on corning to the
States on a soccer scholar-
ship for a year prior to his
departure from the army.
Tiomkin played for a year

on a soccer club in Kfar
Saba, which won the Israeli
Cup in the 1989-90 season.
They secured partial
scholarships through an
Israeli who has ties to the
American soccer commun-
ity. The two players met in
Israel to arrange to live
together on the OU campus.
While adjusting from army
drills to soccer drills took
little effort, getting used to
the American campus was
more challenging.
Tiomkin and Ankori ad-
mitted to having some trou-
ble with English at first, and
both take the same classes in
order to help each other in
their studies. But, they add-
ed, classmates have lent
their assistance, whenever
necessary.
"People here help us a
lot," Ankori said. "If we
need to go somewhere, they
take us."
Plus, the two Israelis have
benefitted from the mysti-
que of their foreign accents
and dark, good looks. Girls

have flocked to them, nick-
naming them "Israeli Lights."
On the field, the two have
added punch to OU's attack.
Tiomkin, a forward, has led
the team in total points (22)
and assists (10) while scoring
six goals. He also tied for the
team lead in game-winning
goals, with three.
Ankori, a midfielder, has
been less of an offensive
force, with only three
assists. But he is often forced
to double back as a
defenseman when opposing
teams run four forwards.
Coach Parsons said the
players benefitted from their
military discipline, and both
have made positive impacts
on the team. They became
close with the other players,
swapping jokes and sharing
meals.
But just because Tiomkin
and Ankori have made girls
swoon and goalies shiver,
they haven't been excused
from their freshman tasks —
picking up equipment after
practice, for one. ❑

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

49

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