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On April 19th history was made in Hamburg, Germany, when the Hamburg girls team faced the Hannover girls team in the first ever German girls lacrosse scrimmage. The impetus for a competitive game started with Mareile Kriwall, the head of German women’s lacrosse and a player on both Hannover and the German National Team. With a month to prepare, both teams, fans and proud coaches showed up with great anticipation, and ready to rumble.

We followed the model of the boys teams, who have been playing for 2 years now in Germany, and used a half field, with goals on the ‘sidelines’ – creating a 60×50 meter field. The 11 meter was shortened to 10, the center circle from 9-7, and the midfield was 15 meters from fan to fan. We played 7 v 7 including goalies and no restraining line – though plan to add a restrainer and keep 1 behind for the German Championship exhibition games.

The 20 minute halves overflowed with excitement – most goals were scored on fast breaks and 1v1’s, or 1v none’s, and the first half ended with a score of 10-5 for Hannover. As Hamburg had forgone fitness training in favor of stick skills, Coaches Amy Alvord and Katharina Freier were worried about their girls’ endurance. On the other hand, they had 2 full strings of players while Hannover had no subs.

Over half of the Hamburg team started playing lacrosse only one month earlier – and the huge learning curve that beginners enjoy was evident as they turned the game around just short of 180 degrees in the second half, scoring 5 goals to Hanover’s 1. Final score Hannover 11, Hamburg 10.

by Amy Alvord ~ Hamburg Coach

This season has been a remarkable season for the 1. Damen.

After losing almost 80 % of the team, the roster included only 4 returning players. The rest of the team was made up of ex-B team players, most of whom had less than 1 year playing experience - 2 had been playing less than a month. It wasn’t a surprise that they ended the fall season 6th place in the league, winning only 3 of their 8 games.

But at the last game of the fall vs. Hannover, you could already see the team finally starting to click, and while the score differential was big, it was the best teamwork we had seen up till then.

When the spring season started, you could hardly tell it was the same team. Their stickwork was greatly improved, the intensity was where an A team’s should be, and making the biggest difference of all, they were playing as one unit - finding connections on and off the field, and finding their hearts and minds working together toward the same goals.

The first game of the spring season against the Bees was clear - the Hamburg A team came ready to play. Within weeks they defeated 3 teams they had lost to in the fall - Goettingen, Berlin and Bielefeld.

This weekend the team faces their biggest challenge yet - Hannover is undefeated for the first time in German lacrosse history, and the Hamburg Warriors are looking to spoil Hannover’s luck.

The Hamburg A team must defeat Hannover if they want a chance to compete in the DM this year - a chance that just a few months ago wasn’t even imaginable.

We wish Hamburg the best of luck this weekend, but even more we wish them great skills, confidence, and the hunger to win every ground ball, every draw, and the fight to the finish.

by Amy Alvord

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