Alas, our Norwegian National Championships are over. Final four weekend has come and gone, and what a weekend it was! All of the finals were as close as ever, let’s recap the memorable 2015 post-season!
The first semi-final was a rematch from the final in February at the college-championship in Trondheim. BI Chiefs (Bergen) took on NTNUI (Trondheim).
BI brought exactly 10 player to the game, no waste of PT there! NTNUI ground them down and won 15-9. Pretty impressive effort from the Chiefs with everyone playing a full 80 minute game.
The second semi was a game between the old-timers at Oslo Legends (Oslo) and the GSI Grizzlies (Grimstad), who entered the final four for the first time. The game wasn’t expected to be close, but the Grizzlies did not roll over easily! They over-ran the Legends throughout the game, and they kept up with Oslo never falling more than two goals behind. However Oslo came out on top with a 10-9 win, scoring some neat goals through quick-sticking and a hidden ball trick.
In the bronze final, the Grizzlies and the Chiefs clashed together. BI Bergen had gotten in a sub, and seemed a bit fresher than the previous day. Neither of the teams have ever finished in the top three.
The game was a close battle, with BI Bergen keeping long possessions and slowing the game down, keeping the Grizzlies from playing their game. This proved to be a very good game plan for the Chiefs, because at the end they landed their first bronze-medal in the Norwegian championship with a 8-7 win.
The Chiefs also provided the tournament’s MVP with Andreas Nikolai Bjørn-Hansen.
The 2015 Men’s national championship was once again between NTNUI and Oslo Legends Lacrosse. In the latest years it has develop into a rivalry between the two. NTNUI winning the 2013 championship, and the Legends winning the 2014. The scene was set, it was muscles vs brains, youth vs. experience, college-athletes vs alumni.
Game time! Oslo jumps to an early 2-0 lead, but soon got pulled back down with NTNUI equalizing during the first period. The second period ended at 1-1, with Legends hitting pipes, and NTNUI finding the stick of Oslo and Team Norway goalkeeper Erlend Hoel.
3-3 at halftime turned into 5-3 (Oslo) after the third. Eventually Oslo got an 8-5 lead, and kept long possessions to kill the game. Oslo Legends took home their EIGHTH national title! The big win was celebrated proper fashion at the post-tournament banquet in Oslo into the late hours.
“It’s amazing how fast the skill-level has improved. Norway houses a lot of athletic players, and now the lacrosse-brains also have gotten better. This has resulted in the best final four I’ve seen in my 3 years with Norwegian Lacrosse.” said Dan Scolaro, coach for Team Norway.
This was the 10th National championship in the history of lacrosse in Norway. The game has evolved incredibly through the last few years.
GSI Grizzly Cubs – BI Lionesses 5-4
HiOA Queens – NTNUI 5-6 OT
HiOA Queens – BI Lionesses 8-7
NTNUI – GSI-Grizzly Cubs 6-4
The final four for the women was incredibly close with three out of the four games ending as a one-goal game.
This proves that women’s-lacrosse in Norway is highly competitive and since 2013 there has been 3 different winners. It will be exciting to follow the national team in the European Championships in August.
Fun fact of the month:
Team Norway’s captain and NTNUI player Lars Rysst, scoring 17 goals and providing 9 assists for Norway in Denver, entered the Norwegian version of “Wipeout” in 2012.
He ran the course in his NTNUI uniform while carrying his stick. Let’s just say he did not win.
Follow Norsk Lacrosse on Facebook to see galleries of pictures from the weekend!
Photo credit: Raymond Poosz and Hanna Elisabeth Lindland