Elisabeth Terland: The Brighton striker in hot goalscoring form

Elisabeth Terland

Brighton forward Elisabeth Terland has hit the ground running in the Women's Super League this season but she intends to get even better.

The Norway international, who joined Brighton in 2022, has scored five goals in six WSL matches, averaging one every 79 minutes in the league.

Her goals contributed to an opening-day victory over Everton and a 2-2 draw with Manchester United, before team-mate Lee Geum-min's late strike earned Brighton a historic win over Manchester City last weekend.

The 22-year-old's form is one of several promising signs coming from Brighton, who battled relegation last season but have seemingly been on the rise since manager Melissa Phillips took over in April.

Terland, the WSL's second-highest goalscorer this season, is set to line up for Brighton against title challengers Arsenal on Sunday.

"I always want to improve so the goals I have scored, they have gone now and I don't think about them any more," Terland told BBC Sport.

"I think about the next game, the next training session and what I will do in those moments. Of course, I want to continue to help the team win football matches. Scoring goals is a part of that.

"It's a good feeling. As a striker you always want to score goals. It's one of your jobs. The best feeling about it though is that you are helping the team when you're scoring."

'It's never easy to bring in lots of players'

Brighton sit eighth in the WSL table with two wins and a draw from their opening six matches.

They are rebuilding this season after recruiting 11 players in the summer transfer window, while also adapting to manager Phillips' fresh ideas.

Among the big names to join was two-time Champions League winner Pauline Bremer, former Barcelona captain Vicky Losada and goalkeeper Sophie Baggaley, who arrived on deadline day from Manchester United.

"They bring a lot of experience. I don't think I'm that young any more but it's always nice to look up to players like that who have won titles and done things that you want to do in your career," said Terland.

"To be able to learn from them every day and play with them helps me develop a lot individually. It helps the team too with that growth of experience. It's nice to have that type of quality."

Understandably, Brighton's start to the season has not been perfect - but recent results against United and Arsenal have lifted them up the table and Terland thinks fans are starting to see how good they can be.

"It's never easy to bring in lots of players and get the team working straight away. It's a project that takes time," said Terland.

"I feel like we can start to see the impact of the new players and the big squad we have. Everyone has such different qualities. Everybody wants to play. It makes our performances better.

"I really like to play under Mel [Phillips]. The way she affects the group, the attitudes she gives to every single player, the way she wants us to work every day in training and wants us to play - it really affects the team. Everyone believes in what we're doing."

'It can be easy to hide away against top teams'

While Brighton's new signings adjust, Terland hopes to take on more responsibility this season.

The 22-year-old is into her second season in the WSL and feels she has more to give on and off the pitch - not just goals.

"Something I wanted to do with this team is to show more leadership," said Terland.

"That is verbally in how you speak with people but also in the way you play. It will make me a stronger, more independent player if I can develop that."

Part of that leadership is demanding performances from her team-mates and Terland hopes Brighton can show "bravery" when they host Arsenal at Broadfield Stadium on Sunday (14:00 GMT kick-off).

"We always know there's an extra feeling about having a good game and making it hard [for the top teams]," said Terland.

"I think when we play these teams it can be easy to hide away and forget about the things we want to do because we are adapting to the opposition.

"But what we have been really good at in this period is to bring braveness. We need to still try to play our football because we have shown we can compete against them. If we're able to do that [against Arsenal] then we can have a good performance."