Q&A With Katrin Omarsdottir
Oct. 19, 2009
BERKELEY - The No. 17 California women's soccer team has benefitted from the talent and international playing experience of sophomore Katrin Omarsdottir. A native of Iceland, Omarsdottir was the youngest player to play in the European Cup when she was 14 years-old and recently returned from competing with the Icelandic national team in the European Championship. After scoring two goals and notching two assists in her freshman campaign last year, Omarsdottir is currently second on the team with five goals and two assists for 12 points. CalBears.com caught up with the 5-8 midfielder to discuss moving to America and more.
CalBears.com: You came to Berkeley all the way from Iceland - what has it been like adjusting to school, life and soccer in America?
Katrin Omarsdottir: I think I've adjusted fairly well in those areas. Adjusting to school was, and still is, a bit hard. There is a lot of vocabulary I don't know, and some textbooks can be very challenging to read and understand. But it gets easier with time and practice. I've come a long way from my first semester here, which was only a year ago, when I didn't know what the word 'bunker' was. The transition in soccer wasn't hard, but it's different. It's stricter here and more disciplined, so it took some time to adjust to that. The girls on the team are amazing, and I have come good friends with them, which helps a lot with the adjusting - both with soccer and adjusting to a different environment and culture.
CalBears.com: What made you decide to come overseas to Cal?
KO: I wanted to go somewhere warmer than Iceland where I could play soccer outside all year round without having to put six layers on. And I wanted to play with a good soccer team so I could improve as a soccer player, along with receiving a good education, and Cal is the best of both.
CalBears.com: What are some of the things that you miss about life in Iceland?
KO: First, my mom's cooking. I was nervous coming back this fall because I knew I had to make decisions on my own what to eat. I will for sure not be the cook in my household. Any chefs available to cook for me? Second, I miss being around my family and good friends. I especially miss my little brother, who is 12 years old and one of my best friends. And the last one is the water there. It is without a doubt the best water in the world!
CalBears.com: You played on an adult club team, Knattspymufelag Reykjavikur, which you began competing on when you was 14 - what was that experience like?
KO: For the first six months, I was scared to go to practice every single day. I was so intimidated by the older girls and how good they were, but once I got over that, it was amazing. They taught me so much and I learned so much from them soccer wise. I think because I started to be around older people when I was that young, it is easier for me to be around different ages of people and hang out with people at any age. And this is definitely a different environment than I am used to, because I am used to being the youngest, but here, I take the role of a grandma.
CalBears.com: You recently played in UEFA Women's Euro 2009 with the Icelandic National Team - what was that experience like for you? What was the highlight?
KO: It was quite an experience, that's all I can say. It was an experience that I will learn from because we didn't win any games, but there were so many things we learned from it and can improve on. The highlight was definitely playing against Germany's Birgit Prinz and seeing that the bests aren't that far away from you.
CalBears.com: What is your most prized possession?
KO: I think my Vespa.
CalBears.com: What is your favorite food?
KO: Everything my mom cooks.
CalBears.com: What is one thing you can't live without?
KO: Probably my sports bras. I would be hopeless if I couldn't wear a bra, especially on the soccer field! Don't even want to think about what it would be like.
CalBears.com: Emily Shibata, the last person to do a Q&A for CalBears.com, wanted the next women's soccer player to answer: Who inspires you? Why?
KO: My friend Maja inspires me. Her good-hearted personality, honesty and her outlook on life inspires me to become a better person and work harder to achieve my goals.
CalBears.com: What question would you like the next women's soccer student-athlete who does a Q&A to answer?
KO: How do you like Lisa Kevorkian? Do you think she should be on 'Jeopardy?'
To read all the past Q&A with the Golden Bears, click here.