Vålerenga Women’s Soccer wins first ever league title

Vålerenga wins toppserien

Photo: Fredrik Hagen / NTB scanpix
Spirits were high when Vålerenga became Toppserien league champions for the first time ever with a 4-0 victory over Arna-Bjørnar on Dec. 6 on the home pitch of Intility Arena in Oslo. Vålerenga finished with 11 wins, 5 draws, and 2 losses for 38 points.


JO CHRISTIAN WELDINGH
Oslo

After seeing their archrivals, LSK (Lillestrøm) Women, win seven Toppserien league titles in eight years, Oslo’s Vålerenga was finally able to lift the league trophy after beating Arna-Bjørnar 4-0 in their last game of the season on Dec. 6.

The club’s biggest star and woman of the match, Sherida Spitse, from the Netherlands, was happy after the decisive game.

“It was important for my team today,” said Spitse, who is moving back to the Netherlands to play for Ajax after the season. “I know my own qualities. It felt extra good to win after such a challenging year, and it feels good to finish my Vålerenga career with a title. We have done everything we can.”

Heading into the last league game of the season, three teams were still in the title race: Vålerenga (35 points), Rosenborg (35 points), and Avaldsnes (34 points). Vålerenga had the best goal difference of the three, four goals better than Rosenborg, formerly Trondheims-Ǿrn, which meant that Rosenborg had to win their game with four goals more than Vålerenga if the Oslo team won their match.

The fact that Vålerenga had to play without some of their key players made it even more exciting. Rikke Madsen, Stine Pedersen, and Janni Thomsen were quarantined after participating in European Championship qualifiers for the Danish national team. Rosenborg’s adversary, Klepp, was also plagued by injuries, with Elisabeth Terland, Matilde Alsaker Rogde, and Hege Hansen all out.

The excitement did not last however. Vålerenga dominated Arna-Bjørnar, and Spitse made it 1-0 after only four minutes of play. Ten minutes later, Ingibjörg Sigurdardóttir doubled the lead. 2-0 at halftime.The league title already seemed a certainty. Vålerenga finished with 11 wins, 5 draws, and 2 losses for 38 points.

Vålerenga wins toppserien

Photod: Fredrik Hagen / NTB scanpix
Vålerenga’s Celin Bizet Ildhusøy, left, and Rikke Nygaard, right, kiss the Toppserien championship trophy after they became league champions.


On the other side of the country, Rosenborg struggled to break down Klepp’s well-organized defense and it was a scoreless tie at halftime.

Vålerenga continued their dominance in the second half and won the game 4-0 after Celin Bizet Ildhusøy and Catherine Bott found the net for Vålerenga. Rosenborg won their game 2-1 and ended level with Vålerenga on 38 points but lost the league title on goal difference.

Rosenborg stepped up their game up in the second half and took the lead only three minutes after the break with a goal by Lisa-Marie Karlseng Utland. Celine Nergård doubled their lead after 67 minutes before Ingeborg Lye Skretting made it 2-1 in the final minute of the game.

Meanwhile, fourth-place Sandviken (9-3-6-30) took care of Avaldsnes (10-4-4-34) 4-0.

It is worth mentioning that Rosenborg went through the season without losing a single game (10-8-0) and should be proud of their achievement, despite losing the title in the last game.

Vålerenga was founded in 2012 and won silver in 2017 and 2019, when it finished second behind LSK Kvinner. This year, in Danish coach Jack Majgaard Jensen’s first season, they’re the first team to finish above LSK since 2013, and only the third team besides Lillestrøm to win gold. The two were scheduled to face each other on Dec. 13 for the Norway Cup. Lillestrøm(9-2-7-29) fell to fifth this season.

“We have succeeded quite well in what we have participated in,” Jensen told NRK. “She (Spitse) shows where the head should be in such matches.”

This article originally appeared in the Dec. 25, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

Jo Christian Weldingh

Jo Christian Weldingh grew up in Lillehammer, Norway, and lives in Oslo. He has a bachelor’s degree in archaeology from the University of Oslo and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from BI Norwegian Business School.

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