Woodbridge’s Hanna Hannesdottir polishes soccer skills as member of Icelandic youth national team

As a starting senior midfielder, Hanna Hannesdottir is seen as the glue that molds Woodbridge’s solid defense to its speedy batch of forwards. She possesses sound field vision, can play physical when needed and has a knack for finding the back of the net.

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Those skills, all of which were on display as she netted two goals during Woodbridge’s 7-2 win against Thomas Dale in Monday’s Virginia 6A South region girls’ soccer quarterfinal, are rooted in a lifetime of playing soccer, but they have been polished during the past four years as a member of the Icelandic youth national program.

Born in Colorado, Hannesdottir became a dual citizen of the United States and her father’s native country of Iceland at a young age. She spent just about every summer in the European nation while playing in the region’s club soccer scene. During her freshman year, Hannesdottir was selected to the Icelandic National Women’s Soccer Program, which is similar to the youth national pool in which former Woodgrove All-Met Brittany Basinger and South County’s Andi Sullivan have participated.

Hannesdotir competed with Iceland in the U-17 UEFA championship in Belgium in 2012 and has traveled three times with the U-19 team, with the most recent trip taking place in April for three games against Scotland, Russia and Croatia in the European Cup.

“It’s almost two weeks, so I have to miss school and that can be a hassle, but of course I enjoy the experience and am grateful for it,” Hannesdottir said after scoring two goals in Monday’s win. “It’s pretty fierce competition, and it’s a different speed of play than high school.”

Those experiences, coupled with the skills that helped her score 12 goals as a junior last season and a team-high 14 goals this year, paved the way for her commitment to play college soccer at Pittsburgh. Hannesdottir, who also has played club soccer locally with the Herndon Firecats, hopes to bring her versatility and offensive production to the Panthers, whom she fell in love with during a visit prior to her junior season.

“The campus was great, the players and coaches were all approachable and nice, and now that I’ve signed, the coaches call me all the time to check on me and talk about soccer,” Hannesdottir said. “I’m really excited to go there and continue growing as a player.”

NUMBER CRUNCH: 13
Innings it took to settle Monday’s Virginia 6A North region softball quarterfinal between Lake Braddock and Madison. The Bruins won 2-1 on a walk-off hit by Caroline Jones.

BREAKFAST LINKS
-McLean continued its postseason surge, beating Battlefield, 7-5, to notch its fifth win in its past six games and advance to the Virginia 6A North region baseball semifinals.

-Senior Rebecca Martin struck out six batters to lead South County to 4-1 victory against McLean in Monday’s Virginia 6A North region softball quarterfinals, snapping the Highlanders’ 18-game winning streak.

PHOTOS FROM LAST NIGHT

WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
Girls’ soccer: Centreville at Osbourn Park, 5 p.m.
After finishing the regular season 4-7, Centreville has come alive in the postseason to reach Tuesday’s Virginia 6A North region semifinal against Osbourn Park, which knocked off No. 1 seed Chantilly last Friday.

Brandon Parker is a sports reporter for The Washington Post.
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