For those of you who may be starting to wonder…Yes, V & I are indeed playing soccer in Iceland : )
We had our first game the day after we arrived against the number one team in the league, Thor KA Akureyri. In the second fifteen-minute period of stoppage time, one of our teammates netted the game winning goal, giving us the much-needed 2-1 victory over our biggest rivals. It was an amazing feeling to be able to come in and immediately help contribute to the season changing upset!
Although we got the end result we desired, the game was definitely not without its difficulties. When the referee stopped the play in the first minute after kickoff, demanding that V and I take off our heart rate monitors, we knew our transition to Icelandic futbol might not be as easy as we had originally anticipated. After frantically running to the sideline to remove our watches and before resuming the match, the referee boisterously reminded us both that “You’re in Iceland now”.
However, the referee ended up being the least of our worries. In the pre-game meeting we were surprised to find out there were three American girls on the opposing team, two of which I have had the opportunity to play with at National Camp. After being in the country for less than 48 hours, it was somewhat of a relief knowing we weren’t alone on our journey. Apparently American camaraderie is dead in Iceland though! As we were waiting to take the field, one of the American players made blatant eye contact with me while loudly informing her teammate to kick me in the shins. Sweet, go Team USA!
Although V and I were able to emotionally and mentally survive the exacting ref and the merciless Americans, physically we were not as lucky. After a grueling 120 minutes of running, despite having a severe case of jet lag and having gotten no sleep the night before, our bodies were shot. The minor set backs, drama, and difficulties we experienced throughout the day were well worth it though…
After all, “winning isn’t everything it’s the only thing.”
Our home field & picturesque stadium, Stjarnan FC! Here is a website with our upcoming schedule, results, and league standings: http://women.soccerway.com/national/iceland/urvalsdeild-women/2012/regular-season/