Hockeyroos goalkeeper Rachael Lynch fondly recalls her shootout heroics in the semi-finals of the World Cup four years ago, ahead of this year’s edition.
Lynch was the hero in the shootout as Australia booked their spot in the World Cup decider with a 3-1 win on penalties against the United States after the contest ended 2-2.
The goalkeeper denied US’s Katie O’Donnell, Paige Selenski and Michelle Kasold, while Kellie White, Georgie Parker and Jodie Kenny (nee Schulz) converting theirs to clinch the victory.
“I actually watch the video quite regularly,” Lynch launched. “For us to win that way, it was really only when the one-on-ones had just come in.
“It was a pretty dominant performance. I love the one-on-ones. I like the pressure because I’m quite aggressive it suits my style.”
Australia went on to lose to the Netherlands in the final in The Hague, going down 2-0, but it was a great experience for the side.
“Even though we came second it’s definitely one of the highlights of my career,” Lynch recalled.
“The way we made it through the tournament with some exciting games, a lot of the finals going to one-on-ones.
“It’s the dream to play Holland in Holland in the World Cup final. We had a lot of confidence in the group.
“We had a lot of success in the lead-up year. It was a really enjoyable tournament. No doubt, London will put on a show.”
Lynch is part of the 18-member team which travelled to London last week for the 2018 World Cup which starts on Saturday.
Only six members of that side are part of the 2018 team which is now coached by Paul Gaudoin, but Lynch sees plenty of parallels.
“I felt good at the tournament but had a lot of confidence in the defensive group in front me,” she said.
“We were in a good place and I think we’ve got that now. With Jodie (Kenny) back, as well as Morgo (Georgina Morgan) returning now. It makes my job easier.
“This is the excitement of a big challenge. The Comm Games (where the Hockeyroos won silver) was good but this is the real deal against all of the top countries.”
Australia are ranked fifth in the world, behind Commonwealth Games gold medallists New Zealand (fourth) who are in their pool. Japan (12th) and Belgium (13th) are also in their pool.
“I am optimistic,” Lynch said. “We’re in a great spot to do well.
“It’s about being consistent. You can’t afford to drop any games at a World Cup.
“We’ve done the prep now it’s about performing on the big stage.”
Australia opens their 2018 World Cup campaign against Japan from 5am AEST on Sunday with the match LIVE on FOX SPORTS.