England's first appearance in the European Hockey Championships final for 22 years ended in defeat as Germany triumphed 2-0 in a penalty shootout after a thrilling 4-4 draw in normal time.
Kate Walsh, Alex Danson, Laura Unsworth and Georgie Twigg all failed to convert from the spot for England.
The disappointing shootout had followed a pulsating match, which opened with an end-to-end first half. Twigg slotted a rebound from a Walsh penalty corner to open the scoring, but Eileen Hoffman levelled within two minutes.
Walsh's next penalty found the net, but Germany again hit back quickly through Tina Bachmann.
Germany took the lead for the first time through Bachmann's second before Helen Richardson made it 3-3. But the scoring was not over there, and Hannah Kreuger managed to find a seventh goal in a frenetic opening half.
The second half was a far more tense affair and Germany fought hard to cling on to their slender lead with goalkeeper Kim Platten making several important stops.
But she was finally beaten with four minutes to go by Lily Owsley to force the shootout, in which Walsh, Alex Danson, Laura Unsworth and Twigg all missed for England.
"Having practised [penalties] so many times over the years, you feel confident going in there," England captain Walsh said.
"It's just 50-50 and it didn't go our way today."
Danson added: "I went in feeling confident but I'm very, very disappointed, obviously, not to do my job and put that penalty away.
"I'm devastated but that's a really good way to be because we're also very proud. We can go one better.
"We will go home, train really hard and one day - hey, it will happen."