Three members of Newport’s back-to-back state league premiership-winning team have been selected to represent Australia at the 2017 Women’s Lacrosse World Cup in England this July.
Goaltender Bree Hussey and outfielders Rachel Kirchheimer and Hayley Sofarnos got the Christmas present they desired with news of their inclusion in the national squad coming over the festive period.
The star trio will be joined by former Newport player Stephanie McNamara in the green and gold.
McNamara is playing college lacrosse for Louisville in the United States, but her ties to the Porters remain strong.
Newport coach Stacey Morlang was ecstatic for the four Porters gaining higher honours because she has seen their commitment behind the scenes.
“It’s amazing, really exciting for the club,” Morlang said. “They’re incredibly passionate and committed women who sacrifice a lot of things in their life to be able to be the best they can be and represent their country.
“There’s a lot of talent and athleticism in there; it’s a whole package when you’re trying to make an Australian team or get a scholarship in the states. It’s mostly about mental toughness and motivating yourself when you’re training by yourself a lot of the time.”
Newport has always been proactive in promoting its players for state and national selection. The Porters have a rich history of players stepping up to the next level then returning to the club to wreak havoc on the state league competition.
“We’ve always had a heavy winning culture; it was set in place when the club started,” Morlang said. “And it’s driven by the many Australian players through our ranks.
“We understand lacrosse isn’t everyone’s life, but we also like to foster their growth and inspire them to have goals, and we can help them reach them. We also have a really good committee and group of coaches that understand how to get the best out of their players and we expect them to reach their potential.”
Kirchheimer is a long-time member of Newport but only recently committed to playing for Australia after playing at previous World Cups for her country of birth, England.
Hussey converted from an outfield player to a goalie, a move that has paid massive dividends, while Sofarnos was one of the Porters’ top attackers last season, scoring three goals in the grand final win over Footscray.