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A new era of Polish Lacrosse has begun. On the 28th of March 2009 we were witnesses to a historical event: three Polish lacrosse teams took to the field. Poznan Hussars, Kosynierzy Wroclaw and Grom Warszawa went head to head in the First Polish Lacrosse Tournament. This was a great occasion for gaining experience on the field as well as a time of integration of the polish lacrosse enviroment and intensive training under the eye of a respected international coach. First place was awarded to the team from Poznan, which won both of its matches, but everyone went home with a smile on their face.

The Road to Debut

December 2008 was a turning point for lacrosse in Warsaw. New people started showing up to practice, but nobody would have believed then that Grom would be capable of fielding a full team by the end of March. Still, they decided to host the tournament and hoped for the best. Fortunately people still came and the green and gold had a twelve man roster for the 28th.

For Grom, the tournament really started the day before the games, at evening practice with Coach Christian Arnold from University College Dublin Lacrosse. During an intense three hour workout, he covered all the necessary basics and showed them what to expect on the field and how to behave on defense and offense. The tired team headed home, but their moods were feisty: “We’ll show them. They underestimate us, but we’ll show them!”

A sunny morning and cheerful moods

As the soccer field at Bemowo Sports and Recreation Facility was slowly filling up fith players from all teams, the sun was out and the forecasted rain seemed doubtful. The turf was well prepared and all lines were professionally drawn. Warm-ups and greetings were accompanied with a cheerful atmosphere and players were exchanging tips and news. Nobody would have said then that there would be war on the field in thirty minutes.

As the first whistle approached, the knights donned their armors and put on their war paint(the Hussars’ new white and black jerseys were particularly flashy) and after a brief talk with the ref, in this role again Coach Christian Arnold, they set their helmets and prepared for battle.

The battle commences! Kosynierzy versus the Hussars

It was known from the start that this matchup would be the most interesting one of the day. Both teams have played each other many times due to the lack of other contestants and they sot of have a history of fierce and close games. Poznan quickly took the initiative and easily pushed the defense to the goal allowing themselves many opportunities to score. Kosynierzy matched them step for step, but soon found they were falling behind and lacking breath due to a shallower roster. Frustration overtook them to the point that two players decided to throw down their gloves. The fight was quickly separated and both guys were punished with a three minute unreleasable penalty.

Wroclaw didn’t succeed in catching up and the Poznań Hussars won the game 10:3. The winners didn’t have much time to celebrate as they had to face the Grom in a few minutes time. Wroclaw fit the stands to cool off and prepare for their confrontation with the debutants.

 

Daniel Wegrzyk watches helplessly as another shot hits the net

Daniel Wegrzyk watches helplessly as another shot hits the net

Surprise! Grom jumps the Hussars

The went off to a slow start. Poznan was tired and had their second string squad playing. The Green on the other hand was playing full speed. The ball wandered from goal to goal, and shots were frequent but inaccurate. Suddenly something very unexpected occurred. The first goal is scored, but by Warsaw! After an effective run and assist, the ball lands in the Hussars’ goal.

Poznan decided that Grom means business and reserves were taken off the field. The game transferred to the green and gold half and their goal was under constant bombardment. Fortunately Warsaw’s goaltender, Andy Kureth, was in prime form that day and fought fiercely to keep the ball out of his net all day long. Grom managed to shoot one more goal, but their defense was as porous as Swiss cheese and even with the biggest effort, their goalie was unable to save all shots.

This way Poznan wins their second game 6:2 and can already celebrate first place in the tournament as they head towards the locker room while Grom has to take on a rested and frustrated team from Wroclaw in a few minutes time.

 

Grom’s defense allows for easy penetration

Grom’s defense allows for easy penetration

Kosynierzy attack Grom

The tired Grom wasn’t ready to give up just yet. They fought till the end. The Kosynierzy weren’t letting them do much and kept molesting the Warsaw defense which kept falling apart. Loss of strength and depth due to minor injuries wasn’t helping the Green and they were finding it harder and harder to fend off the Wroclaw attacks. Even so, goals were scored on both sides of the field, but the second half brought resignation to the faces of the hosts. Even winning face-offs wasn’t helping their morale. Kosynierzy won with Grom 7:2 and took second place. Warsaw was left to ponder their mistakes and rejoice in succeeding to score at least four goals in all and in surprising their opponents.

 

Andy Kureth keeps watch and twice rescues Grom from losing by double digits

Andy Kureth keeps watch and twice rescues Grom from losing by double digits

Thanks!

Thanks to the mayor of the Bemowo district in Warsaw, Mr. Jaroslaw Dabrowski, all contestants were awarded with medals and team captains received trophies. Great thanks to Coach Christian Arnold, who didn’t spare any strength in coaching, refereeing and even playing in green. Thanks go out to the Bemowo Sport and Recreation Facility for preparing the field and allowing us to play a few minutes over rent time. A special thank you for the few fans who came out to cheer us on and watch the game. Thank you for your support, we hope you liked what you saw. Kind thanks to Warsaw University of Technology TV for doing a piece on the tournament.

A new era for lacrosse in Poland

As I mentioned in the beginning, this tournament was a quite large step for Polish Lacrosse. The Poznań OPEN is just on the horizon and hopefully a league will be established by the end of summer. Every game is a sign for people in other locations that starting a new team might not be such a bad idea after all. Hopefully we can match quickly growing the Polish American Football League(over five times more teams in season four as in season one!). We’re wishing for the best and were working to meet the cream of the crop next year in Manchester as the Polish National Team. Back to work!

Piotr Stalmach
Grom Warszawa Lacrosse
piotr.stalmach@gmail.com

Photos by Boleslaw Kurowski

Game scores:

Poznań Hussars

Kosynierzy Wrocław

10

3

Hamrol Paweł – 4 goals

Bagiński Jędrzej – 3 goals

Rutkowski Karol – 1 goal

Brudło Tomasz – 1 goal

Piotrowski Błażej – 1 goal

Litmanowski Jacek – 2 goals

Rokicki Błażej – 1 goal

Poznań Hussars

Grom Warszawa

6

2

Piotrowski Błażej – 3 goals

Rutkowski Karol – 1 goal

Hamrol Paweł – 1 goal

Bagiński Jędrzej – 1 goal

Piotr Stalmach – 1 goal

Glen Gregory – 1 goal

Grom Warszawa

Kosynierzy Wrocław

2

7

Piotr Stalmach – 1 goal

Glen Gregory – 1 goal

Litmanowski Jacek – 3 goals

Janiszewski Marcin – 2 goals

Rokicki Błażej – 1 goal

Filipek Wojciech – 1 goal

Final standings:

Place Team Points Goals scored Goals lost
1. Poznań Hussars 6 16 5
2. Kosynierzy Wrocław 3 10 12
3. Grom Warszawa 0 4 13
Reklamy

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