It will be like putting your hand into a hornets nest, but Bree Hussey can’t wait.
The Newport Ladies Lacrosse Club goalkeeper will feature in her first Women’s Lacrosse World Cup game for Australia against Canada tomorrow in England – and she is buzzing.
“I’m very nervous and very excited,” Hussey said. “It’s my first world cup, so I don’t really know what to expect.
“I just want to get into it.”
Hussey is the in-form goalkeeper in Australia. The 23-year-old is at the peak of her powers after being named to the all-star team following Victoria’s triumph at the national championships recently.
Being a significant part of a Big V team that made it five national titles in a row – Hussey has played in the past three – has given her confidence ahead of the world cup.
“It made me feel good to be in a good team and still be recognised as playing well with the team,” she said.
“It shows that I’m in good form and I feel like I’m ready to take on the world I guess.”
Hussey’s main role is obviously shot stopping, but it’s not her only order of business.
As the goalkeeper, the Altona Meadows resident will need to keep a handle on the defence in front of her, so she has to have their trust and they have take on board her directions.
While it will be Hussey’s first world cup game, she has been part of the Australian squad’s lead-up games, so there is already a strong bond with the players in front of her.
“You’ve got to be a general down there,” Hussey said.
“My natural job is to tell people what to do and when to do it – then just save the ball.
“You’ve got to have the defence set up the way you like it.”
Hussey’s offence is above average for a goalkeeper. Her long throws can turn defence to attack in the blink of an eye.
She also likes to be daring in her play when it permits.
“My asset is that I like to come out and attack the ball a bit when it’s close enough to my crease,” Hussey said.
“I can clear it up into the attack line quickly.”
Hussey has been a career goalkeeper.
She does occasionally like a run out on the field, but the area in front of the net is her territory.
“I got a leg injury when I was 10 and wasn’t allowed to run, so I started playing in goals and they said ‘you’re pretty good, you might as well just stay in there’,” she said.
“I went for a Victorian team in the under-15s and tried out as a goalie and got picked.
“We ended up winning the national championship that year.”
Of the nine Women’s Lacrosse World Cups, only two countries have won titles: United States and Australia.
The US has won seven, while Australia has won two, with the most recent in 2005.
Can the green and gold cause an upset at this year’s tournament?
“I reckon we’ll give it a good crack,” Hussey said. “We’ve got the group, we’ve got the determination and we’ve really dedicated ourselves and pushed the extra bit.
“We’ve been working towards this for two years now, so we don’t want all this to go to waste.”