Last weekend, the Latvian National Team went undefeated at the oldest European lacrosse tournament – Berlin Open . A year earlier Latvia managed to get to the finals, where Latvia fell short to the Czech team, Jižní Mesto, with a final score of 9:10 .
This year, coming with a deep roster but still missing a few key National Team players, Team Latvia came to Berlin with full power and intention of winning the tournament. The sample was drawn in subgroup D, along with the Swiss National Team, Team Hong Kong and the German Oaks.
The first day of the tournament was played in round robin style. The Latvian Team’s first opponent was a quick Hong Kong team, a team that Latvia took down in 2014 at the World Championships. Latvia beat Hong Kong on a wet morning with a final score of 11:2. The next game was against the German Oaks. The game started out quite slow, but soon intensified. After a hard fought game, Latvia came out on top with a final score of 13:6. The third and final game of Day 1 would be against the strong Swiss National Team. Latvia was looking to avenge their loss to the Swiss after the World Championships in 2014. A quick transition goal by Latvia broke the ice five minutes into the first half, there was no looking back from there. Latvia defeated the Swiss this time 9:2.
The second day of the tournament was the start of playoff games. The quarterfinal game confronted Bundesliga North, a club team from Berlin. Latvia quickly got into rhythm and delighted fans with great highlights. There was little challenge from the opposing party, to which our players did not look down on. The convincing end result of 18:4 secured a semi-final place. The semi-final game was set against the 2015 Berlin Open champions, Jižní Mesto. The pace of the game was fast and intense, making it Latvia’s toughest game of the tournament so far. The opposing goalkeeper played very well, stopping an abundance of quality Latvian shots. Latvia came out on top again, with a final score of 10:5, punching their ticket to the Berlin Open Final on Sunday.
The final day of the tournament Latvia had just one game; the finals. Latvia faced AIST Lacrosse (American International Sports Teams) from the U.S. The championship game was played with full official rules and took place in the central stadium, full of cheering fans. The game startėd with a very fast pace. The Latvians had a hard time adjusting to their style of play and unfortunately gave up the first goal of the game. Latvia continued its fight and backfired. At the end of the first half, Latvia led 6:3. In a game that was rich in emotion, the US team managed to repeatedly break open the Latvian defense and score many goals in the second half. Team Latvia once again came trailing 9: 7, only the second time the team had been behind all weekend. The men in Maroon, however, did not give up and defied the US team’s provocations. After the final whistle sounded, the scoreboard read 11:10 in favor of the Latvian National Team. Latvian National Team – 2016 Berlin Open champions!