BERLIN, Germany - There's two things that soccer players dream of accomplishing in their careers. One is to represent their countries and the other is to play for the World Cup.

Former VCU women's soccer standout Hedda Gardsjord can check both of those feats off her list of career goals as she dons her Norwegian National Team jersey at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany. Hedda and her teammates open up play in Group B against Equatorial Guinea on Wednesday at 9 a.m. EST.

"It's what every soccer plays dreams of doing and I'm extremely blessed to get this opportunity," Gardsjord said. "My teammates and I are excited about getting started."

The Rykinn, Norway native has been a member of ROA in the Norwegian Premier League and worked her way onto the national team. She has earned 22 international caps and looks to provide valuable depth for the Norwegians.

While at VCU, Gardsjord was a four-year starter, playing in 85 games, scoring seven goals and dishing out 16 assists for the Black & Gold.

More importantly, she helped the Rams reach the NCAA Tournament on two occasions, including in 2005 when VCU toppled Clemson in the first round for the program's first victory in the NCAA Tournament.  

She is the second former VCU standout at the 2011 Women's World Cup, with her former teammate Hayley Moorwood, serving as team captain for the New Zealand squad. It's the first time in school history and the first time in CAA history that a school has had at least two players in the World Cup.