March 20, 2014
Florida State's Dagny Brynjarsdottir is a junior midfielder on the Seminole women's soccer team. Throughout the spring semester, Dagny will provide fans with an in depth look into the world of soccer both at Florida State and at the national level through her experiences with the Full Icelandic National Team. We hope you enjoy the `Dagny Diaries!'
Now 17 days later I am back in Tallahassee, back in school and back with the Florida State soccer team! I was expecting it to be warm and sunny when I arrived, but it has been pouring since I got back. But I am excited to be back training with my teammates.
I really enjoyed my time with the national team in Portugal. As I said in my blog last week, the Algarve Cup did not start very well for us as we lost 5-0 against Germany in the first game. We did better in the second game when we beat Norway 2-1.
The third game was against China and our coach worked eight subs again just like he did against Norway. His focus in this tournament was to make all the players play at some point to get more experience. I played the whole game and we beat China 1-0. We scored off a corner kick in the 88th minute; a well-deserved win for us.
We ended second in our group with two wins and one loss so we played Sweden for third place. I am almost sure that before this game, Iceland had only beaten Sweden once before and that was in the Algarve Cup in 2011. This year, we ended the tournament with another great win as we beat Sweden 2-1. I played the whole game again and I can tell you I was exhausted in the end. Those results were really good for us as we beat three countries that are all ranked higher than us on the FIFA list. Going into the tournament, we were ranked number 19; China was ranked No. 18, Norway No. 8 and Sweden No. 6. Our loss was against Germany as I said earlier, but they won the tournament as they beat Japan 3-0 in the final game. This tournament did a lot for us as we worked on our team spirit and our tactics. It was a week of some very good team bonding.
During our trip to Portugal, we got a few hours off for ourselves. A lot of my teammates went off shopping, walked downtown and ate at restaurants, which is a good change from the hotel life we are used to. For me, as a student-athlete, I had to use all my off time keeping up with school work. Even though I am off playing with the national team I still have to find time to study. Sometimes it can be hard to sit in the room studying when I know my teammates are out having fun, but I would rather do that than have to study like crazy when I am back in Tallahassee and of course I want to get good grades too!
There was a pretty interesting event that happened during the Algarve Cup, as two of my teammates played their 100th game. They were the third and fourth women to reach this section and one of them is the youngest one to reach 100 games as she is only 29 years old. A few years ago, Iceland did not play many games each year like they do now. I think that is the reason why we do not have many women that have played 100 games. I have been playing for the national team for four years. My first game was in the 2010 Algarve Cup when we played against the U.S. I have played 40 games for the full national team since then and have scored four goals.
I will be leaving again in 10 days for some more soccer. I will go back home to Iceland for a few days, and then travel to Israel and Malta to play in two more World Cup qualification games. I think as a team, we are ready for it!
I will keep you updated and show you some more pictures on my traveling adventures. Thanks again for reading my blog.
Check out my photos from my trip to Portugal...