Their men's side may have bowed out after an excellent UEFA Europa League run but Stjarnan women are looking good for their European return after retaining the Icelandic Cup.
Harpa Thorsteinsdóttir's hat-trick aided Stjarnan to a 4-0 final win against UMF Selfoss at the Laugardalsvöllur, their goal tally in their four cup victories ending at 14 without reply. Six points clear in the league with four games left as they aim for a third title in four years, Stjarnan are in good shape to face Russia's WFC Zvezda-2005 Perm in the UEFA Women's Champions League round of 32 next month.
"I expected anything could happen," said Thorsteinsdóttir. "I have been scoring a lot of goals but before the game you do not expect a triple."
Thorsteinsdóttir, 28, has been key to Stjarnan's season with 23 goals in 14 league outings, 15 more than any other player. She first broke into the Stjarnan side aged 15 but it recently that she has blossomed, scoring more 50 league goals in the last two seasons and becoming an Iceland regular.
Despite that, a move to play professionally abroad like other top Icelandic players would be a tough decision. "I have a family with two kids, family and 8-to-4 job so it is not easy to move but I would consider options coming up," Thorsteinsdóttir said.
For now, the focus is on completing the domestic double, then hoping to do better against Zvezda than in their European debut two years ago, when they fell to another Russian team, FC Zorkiy Krasnogorsk, 3-1 on aggregate.
"We have been busy but that is great," said Thorsteinsdóttir. "Most of us have played together for a long time gaining experience and build on that, just like there is great spirit in the team and we have experienced players in key position. We have a great spine on the pitch.
"We think it is a bit special to meet a Russian team again with the long distances but estimate that our chances are fairly good since we know more now. We have not looked to much into who we play against because just after the draw we had the cup final. We are looking forward to the adventure and have hopes about going through."
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