I Got In A Matildas Google Trance & Found A Bunch Of Backstories That Make Them Even More Badass

Like the rest of the country, I’ve leapt onto the Matildas bandwagon and can’t get enough of our green and gold girlies. Like all national heroes, I’m now completely obsessed with the whole team so have spent a lot of time Googling all the players (AKA my parasocial besties) to find out more about them.

If you weren’t already getting around the Matildas ahead of their semi-final clash this week, these little factoids that show the team isn’t just chock-full of badass soccer players, but also badass women in general, will get you in the supporting mood.

Sam Kerr

Source: Instagram/samanthakerr20

Let’s get the ball rolling with Matildas captain and star forward, Sam Kerr. She’s the only female soccer player to ever win the Golden Boot across three leagues in three countries.

She is also Australia’s highest-ever goal scorer, smashing more goals than any other female or male soccer player in the country which IMHO is pretty badass.

Hayley Raso

Source: Instagram/hayleyraso

Hayley Raso is continuing to smash it for the Matildas, but a freak accident five years ago left the soccer star thinking her career was totally over. As per The Sun, Raso was involved in an incident in 2018 caused by an accidental collision with the Washington goalkeeper that left her with three broken vertebrae.

But after just a week and half in hospital, the winger was moved to a local rehab centre, where she had to learn to walk again. Six months after the traumatic injury, Raso returned to the pitch in a Cup of Nations match. From thinking her career was over to being back on the pitch in six months and now playing on the global stage, the gal is absolutely killing it.

Another fun fact about Hayley Raso is to do with her iconic hair ribbon. The Manchester City player told the club’s website that she’s been wearing a ribbon in her hair to play soccer ever since she was a kid and just carried it on into pro football.

“I’ve worn a ribbon for my whole career,” she said. “My grandma always matches my ribbon to my kits so she’s sent my new ones over for this season. It’s pretty cute.” Omg, NAN.

Her hair accessory is so iconic she even wrote a children’s book entitled Hayley’s Ribbon back in 2021. Bless.

Clare Polkinghorne

Source: Instagram/polks89

Next up, Claire Polkinghorne, the 34-year-old player has donned the green and gold and represented Australia more than any other soccer player, man or woman. The defender has racked up more than 156 games and is currently playing in her fifth (yes, fifth!) World Cup.

Polkinghorne and her Matildas teammate Lydia Williams are also the first Aussie soccer players to ever play in five World Cups.

Mackenzie Arnold

Source: Instagram/mackenziearnold

Anyone who was unfamiliar with the Matildas goalkeeper sure isn’t anymore after Saturday’s penalty shootout, but Mackenzie Arnold has revealed she struggles with hearing loss off the pitch. After noticing she was struggling to understand people talking through their masks in 2020, Arnold got her hearing tested and it was confirmed she suffers hearing loss.

The goalkeeper was fitted with hearing aids in April this year. She wears her hearing aids constantly when off the field, but doesn’t wear them during the game as she’s worried her improved hearing would be a distraction after so many years playing without them.

Ellie Carpenter

Source: Instagram/elliecarpenterr

Not only is Ellie Carpenter playing in her third World Cup at only 23-years-old, she’s also smashing it on the role model front. The defender, who has been pursuing a career in soccer since she was twelve, has teamed up with Rebel Sport, as well as Nike, to break down the barriers when it comes to girls’ participation in soccer.

She’s launched an interactive online program called GoalGirls, that features educational and skills tutorials, led by Carpenter, to help young girls with no soccer experience feel equipped to get involved.

Mary Fowler

Source: Instagram/maryfowlerrr

If you’ve been watching the World Cup this year you may have noticed that Mary Fowler has been playing wearing gloves, and she has finally let us in on what the gloves are all about. The 20-year-old, who is also the youngest player for the Matildas this year revealed the reason in an interview for Optus Sport with former Socceroos goalkeeper, Mark Schwarzer.

“No, I mean, I haven’t told anyone yet what (the reason is) — it’s a bit silly,” she said.

“But I honestly just wear gloves because I get really fidgety. Usually I train with a ring on, but if it’s cold, I wear gloves, and I can’t wear a ring in a match, so I usually wear gloves.”

Fowler’s mum is from the tiny village of Kira Kira, just outside of Port Moresby, with the soccer star sending this wholesome thank you message back to her supporters in Papua New Guinea.

Katrina Gorry

Source: Instagram/katrinagorry10

In addition to being a total gun midfielder, Katrina Gorry made the decision during the pandemic to become a solo parent using IVF — and is there anything more badass than that? Gorry was undergoing IVF whilst playing in Norway, and gave birth to her daughter Harper in 2021 three days before her 30th birthday.

Not only is Gorry smashing it as a solo parent, The Matildas’ head of sports science, Jack Sharkey, told The Sydney Morning Herald that after having her daughter, Gorry is setting new PBs in physical testing. Total. Badass.

The Matildas are set to play their semi-final clash with England on Wednesday night and as someone who isn’t normally a sports fan, you can consider me converted. And it’s all thanks to the Matildas.