Sandviken’s Brochmann downs Klepp to clinch Toppserien championship

Five-goal game leads 8-0 victory; Vålerenga captures second straight Norway Cup

topperserien

Photo: Torstein Bøe / NTB
Vålerenga’s goalkeeper Hannah Seabert (green shirt) raises above the crowd to knock the ball away in the Norway Cup final Oct. 31 at Ullevaal Stadium.

MICHAEL KLEINER
Business & Sports Editor
The Norwegian American

The fireworks happened during the game. Sandviken made sure there were no doubts. The schedule gave the Bergen team last-place Klepp as their opponent to clinch the Toppserien championship Nov. 7.

Taking advantage of defensive miscues by Klepp, Sandviken won in a rout 8-0, before 1,150 fans at Stemmemyren Kunstgressbane in Bergen. Six goals were scored in the second half, four in 19 minutes. It was the biggest margin of victory for Sandviken this season. Following a 2-0 victory over Lillestrøm on Nov. 13 in the season finale, Sandviken finished undefeated at 17-1-0 (52 points), the first undefeated champion since Lillestrømm in 2016. The games were indicative of the team’s dominance this season. They allowed just six goals while scoring 50. The Lillestrøm win was Sandviken’s fifth straight clean sheet and gave Sandviken 13 shutouts during the season.

topperserien

Photo: Marit Hommedal / NTB
Sandviken’s Maria Brochmann leaps to celebrate a goal for her team.

And after Lillestrøm, with a stable of Norwegian national team players, won seven straight championships from 2012-2019, this is the second straight year another team won its first title. Last year, it was Vålerenga. While Sandviken was flying high, Klepp (2-1-15-7 pts) was relegated to the 1st Division for the first time since the league was formed in 1987. Klepp scored 12 goals the entire season.

The star of the clinching game was Maria Dybwad Brochmann, who entered the game with four goals and two assists in the season. She responded with five goals, starting with a natural hat trick, three straight. It was the first time Brochmann scored more than two goals in a game. The 28-year-old came over from Bergen rival, Anja-Bjørnar, in 2019 after scoring 15 goals in 2018. She scored 11 goals in her first season with Sandviken, then slipped to four goals in 2020 and four through 14 games this year. Obviously, the scoring potential was there. 

Marit Bratberg Lund had five assists and Guro Bergsvand scored twice against Klepp.

“There is not much that tops this,” said Brochmann to NRK. “It has been a dream to become league champion, and then we make it happen this year. I’m really proud of the whole gang.”

Manager Alexander Straus was lifted in the air by his players.

“That’s so nice,” he told NTB. “It’s a fantastic bunch, and we end the way we do. We have been the best team all year, and I am extremely proud of these girls. We have come a long way in a short time.”

Brochmann started her assault in the 24th minute, slipping behind the defense and taking Lund’s serve. In the 34th, Klepp keeper Kathrine Larsen missed stopping a shot by Elisabeth Terland, the defense failed to clear, and Brochmann accepted the gift and shot it home. A third first half goal was “incorrectly canceled” according to NTB, and the 2-0 score held at halftime.

Brochmann notched her hat trick in the 52nd minute for a 3-0 score. In the 64th minute, the barrage started with Ingrid Marie Spord heading in a corner; Brochmann heading in Lund’s corner in the 69th; then it was Bergsvand’s turn on a header in the 79th; another header by Brochmann in the 85th, and Bergsvand put the cherry on top in the 88th.

The championship will also be treasured because it will be the last as Sandviken. On Nov. 11, 80 eligible voters at IL Sandviken’s annual meeting voted unanimously that Sandviken could become part of Brann, which becomes the last of Norwegian men’s soccer clubs to add a women’s team. “This is a big and important day for women’s football in Bergen,” Straus told Bergensavisen.

Brochmann scored in the Lillestrøm game to finish in double figures with 10 goals. Lund led Toppserien with 13 assists and 20 points. Emilie Haavi (Lillestrøm) led the league with 13 goals, while Synne Jensen (Vålerenga) and Lisa-Marie Utland (Rosenborg) had 11 and Julie Blakstad (Rosenborg) tallied 10.

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Photo: Marit Hommedal / NTB
The trophy and gold hats are raised in celebration of Sandviken’s first Toppserien championship after a game they played in Bergen.

Norway Cup

There was a repeat champion but at the expense of Sandviken. Vålerenga won its second straight Norway Cup with a 2-1 victory over Sandviken on Oct. 31 at Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo. It makes up for a disappointing season following the double last year, winning the league and Norway Cup. It prevented Sandviken from achieving the double and left it with their only loss of the season, though it doesn’t count in the Toppserien table.

Sandviken was weak on offense and sloppy on defense. In the 14th minute, a Sandviken breakdown led to Jensen passing up field to Marie Dølvik Markussen, who found herself alone against Sandviken keeper Aurora Mikalsen. In 45’+1, Dejana Stefanovic scored on a free kick that wasn’t kicked that hard but found its way into the net. Lund converted a free kick in the 50th minute to cut the deficit to 2-1, but Sandviken couldn’t get the equalizer.topperserien table

This article originally appeared in the Dec. 3, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

Michael Kleiner

Michael Kleiner, business and sports editor, has more than three decades of experience as an award-winning journalist and public relations professional. He has operated his own PR and web design business for small businesses, authors and community organizations in Philadelphia since 1999. Not of Norwegian descent, he lived in Norway for a year with his family at age 11 and has returned as an adult. He is the author of a memoir, Beyond the Cold: An American’s Warm Portrait of Norway, and a member of the Norwegian American Chamber of Commerce Philadelphia. Visit Kleinerprweb.com; beyondthecold.com.

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