In Sept. 2, Seton Hall women’s soccer’s goalkeeper Harpa Johannsdottir was named the Big East Freshman of the Week. She received the honor alongside Offensive Player of the Week Macy Miller of Georgetown, Defensive Player of the Week Meaghan Nally of Georgetown and Goalkeeper of the Week Maddy Henry of Marquette.
In terms of the Big East Honor Roll for that week, Johannsdottir was still the only Pirate to get a mention, a dubious accolade in her first season in South Orange.
Johannsdottir led Seton Hall to a 1-0 victory over Lafayette, the team’s first win of the season. She also kept Seton Hall close in an overtime loss to Loyola Maryland, making four saves in the effort.
Since then, albeit after the Big East Freshman of the Week award , Johannsdottir has continued to build upon previous performances and be the Pirates’ rock in the cage. She kept Long Island close in a 1-0 loss, made two saves in the effort against Siena, and made four stops in a 110-minute, double-overtime draw against Central Connecticut State.
Although the road to begin her career has not been easy, Johannsdottir is finding her footing alongside new head coach Ciara Crinion in a big way. After graduating goalkeeper Anna MacLean last season, Johannsdottir has taken the ropes in a daunting freshman season and has shown signs that she can be Seton Hall’s long-term solution in the crease early on.
Part of the adjustment for Johannsdottir comes from being in a new area of the world. A native of Akureyri, Iceland, Johannsdottir is seemingly a world away from where she started her soccer journey years ago. Located at the northern end of Iceland, even far outside the nation’s sparsely-populated capital of Reykjavik, Akureyri would typically not be on the map for a Seton Hall soccer player, but it instead produced a key member of Crinion’s squad moving forward.
Johannsdottir racked up plenty of awards and honors back in Iceland that helped lead her to the point of becoming the Big East Freshman of the Week. She played for the U-17 team in Iceland before advancing to the U-19 team, where she won two championships. She also played for Hamrarnir for a time, becoming the team’s Player’s Player and Best Player in 2018.
Part of helping the transition for Johannsdottir is surely the subsequent addition of Sara Sigurdardottir to the team for the season and beyond. Sigurdardottir is also a native of Akureyri and played on the same teams as Johannsdottir.
The adjustment to life in the Big East will likely continue to be a challenge for Johannsdottir, but she is clearly on the right path to become one of the conference’s steady starting goalie throughout her career at Seton Hall.
Kevin Kopf can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on Twitter @KevinKopfHWH.