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The Duesseldorf Antlers hosted the annual playoffs last weekend, in which the eight best German lacrosse teams competed against each other to qualify for the National Championship, the Deutsche Meisterschaft.

Especially the southern league surprised the German lacrosse community by sending two teams, one from Stuttgart , the other one from Munich to the DM. Also the FC Inde Hahn from Aachen (western league) and the host of the famous Berlin Open, the Berlin Lacrosse Club BLAX (eastern league) were able to win their respective game to qualify for the DM.

Now all four teams will have two weeks time to bring their game to perfection until they fight each other on the battle field of lacrosse to win the great trophy of the German lacrosse champion this year.

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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