Everything you want to know about Sam, Alanna, Mary and all the other Matilda legends.

Yeeeeeah the girls!

It's been the call heard around Australia for weeks now, but ESPECIALLY after Saturday night's nail-biting quarter final win, which sent the Matildas into Wednesday's semi final against England.

The match — which had absolutely everyone's hearts in their mouths — was the highest rating TV sport program of the past decade, according to Seven, with 7.2 million people reached, without even considering the crowds at pubs, sporting venues and fan events. That also makes it Australia's #1 TV program of the year.


As the team celebrate their win, and quickly turn their sights to this week's next match, we've dived deep on the names and faces the entire nation is obsessed with.

Sam Kerr.

Image: Getty.


Captain and national hero Sam Kerr is considered one of the greatest strikers in the world, and her very long list of achievements is proof of that.

Kerr, 29, is a WA girl and grew up playing AFL before switching to football at 12 because as a female athlete, there was no team for her to keep playing in. She debuted for the Matildas at only 15, scored her first international goal at 16 and was selected for her first World Cup at 17.

She is the only woman to have won the Golden Boot — awarded to the player who scores most goals in the tournament — in three different leagues.

Kerr is based in London most of the time, as she plays for Chelsea in the FA Women's Super League, and has been integral in Chelsea being one of the most dominant forces in women's football.

Kerr has been dating American national player Kristie Mewis for three years.

Long story short? She's a legend.

Katrina Gorry.

Image: Getty.


After Saturday's quarter final match, midfielder Katrina Gorry shared that her team were all wearing black armbands during the game for her father-in-law, who died just 48 hours earlier.

Gorry, 31, is engaged to Swedish footballer Clara Markstedt.

"My fiancee's dad passed away a couple of nights ago," she said after the match. "It has been a tough 48 hours for me but it was a nice night for me to be with him.


"My head has been everywhere tonight but I know I have full support, not just here, but the family in Sweden too. Tonight, I just wanted to make him proud."

Gorry, from Brisbane, has played for the Brisbane Roar in the A-League, and plays for Vittsjö GIK in Sweden's women's league.

In 2021, she skipped the delayed Tokyo Olympics to have her daughter, Harper — who delighted everyone when she ran around the field after the final whistle.

Mackenzie Arnold.

Image: Getty.


On Saturday night, Mackenzie Arnold became Australia's favourite person. The Matildas goalie and was instrumental in the team's win after a very long, very tense penalty shootout.

"This feeling is something I've never felt before. I'm just so proud of the girls. But I feel like I don't know what to say – I'm overwhelmed," the player of the match told the FIFA website afterwards.

Arnold, 29 was born and raised on the Goldie, and has played for Arna-Bjørnar in Norway's Toppserien, as well as Brisbane Roar, Perth Glory, Western Sydney Wanderers, and Canberra United in the A-League.

She's currently the goalkeeper for West Ham United in the Women's Super League, where she met her partner, teammate and Scottish national player Kirsty Smith.

In April, Arnold's brother Sam encouraged her to see a specialist in London about hearing loss. She was told she had lost a significant proportion of her ability to hear high frequencies, and has since started wearing hearing aids.


She doesn't wear them on the pitch, but wearing them when not playing has helped her feel more confident and connected.

"A lot of things I do tie back to my hearing now. I do feel a lot more confident within myself when I have them in, and I feel like I’m a lot more alert and connected," she told the Sydney Morning Herald ahead of the World Cup.

Mary Fowler.

Image: Getty.


Mary Fowler is just 20 years old, out there kicking arse on the World Cup pitch. 

Fowler was born in Cairns and grew up in a football-mad family — she and her sister Ciara both debuted for Adelaide United at the same time. She also debuted for the Matildas at just 15 and is already playing in her second World Cup.

Fowler moved to France to play for Montpellier in January 2020, and currently plays for Manchester City in the Women's Super League. 

Caitlin Foord.

Image: Getty.


Caitlin Foord is a gun on the football field, and also a gunner as a forward for Arsenal.

In 2011, Foord was named the FIFA Women's World Cup Best Women's Young Player, Asian Women's Young Footballer of the Year, and Football Federation Australia's U20 Women's Footballer of the Year. In 2016, she was awarded Asian Women's Footballer of the Year by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

She was born and raised in Shellharbour, and has reminisced about her mum driving her back-and-forth to Sydney four times a week for football training — and again on the weekend for a game. Incredible.


Alanna Kennedy.

Image: Getty.

Alanna Kennedy had earned over 100 caps for Australia before the World Cup even kicked off, but she only returned to the team in July after a suffering a hamstring injury against Canada last September.

After that came a fractured shoulder, calf tear and a knee tendon issue — but all the while, she was determined to be part of this World Cup.


"I feel so much more determined now because I've had a shit couple of years to be honest and it has been up and down," she said after selection.

"So now, more than ever, I was so determined to get back to where I am and I was never going to just give up and let that be the end of my World Cup process... I don't think I've ever cried, being picked for a team, but I cried on my own later in the day. This one just means so much more for so many reasons."

Kennedy has played for Sydney FC, Newcastle Jets, Western Sydney Wanderers, Perth Glory and many other teams, and is currently a defender for Manchester City.

Steph Catley.

Image: Getty.


Vice-captain Steph Catley set the tone for the Matildas entire tournament, with the winning penalty in their opening game against Ireland.

When she's not in green and gold, the Melbournian lives in London and plays for Arsenal. She has previously played for several US teams, including Reign FC, Orlando Pride and Portland Thorns FC, and A-League teams Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City.

In 2012-2013, she was the league's Young Player of the Year, and was also Football Federation Australia's Female U20 Footballer of the Year in 2012 and 2013. 

In January, Catley announced her engagement to her long-time partner and fellow footballer Dean Bouzanis.

Ellie Carpenter.

Image: Getty.


Cowra's Ellie Carpenter — born April 28, 2000 — was Australia's first international player to be born in the 21st century when she debuted for the Matildas at 15. She was also the youngest Aussie athlete at the Rio Olympics in 2016, and the youngest ever female footballer to compete at the Olympics. 

She previously played for the Western Sydney Wanderers in the A-League and the Portland Thorns FC in the United States' National Women's Soccer League (she was ALSO the youngest player to ever appear in a match).

Carpenter currently plays for Lyon in France, and is dating her teammate, Dutch player Daniëlle van de Donk.

Hayley Raso.

Image: Getty.


Hayley Raso's hair ribbon has become everyone's favourite on-field accessory, and it turns out it has an ADORABLE origin story.

After making a footie team, her nan gave her a ribbon and tied it around her ponytail. Raso hasn't played without it ever since, whether playing for a local team or in the Tokyo Olympics. 

Raso began her senior career with Canberra United in 2011, and was part of the side that won the 2011-2012 league. Since then, she has played for Brisbane Roar, Washington Spirit, Portland Thorns FC, Everton and Manchester City. She signed to Real Madrid in July.


In 2018, while playing for Portland, Raso fractured 3 vertebrae in her back in an on field collision. She wasn't sure if she would ever walk again, let alone play football, but after extensive rehab she returned to the pitch six months later.

In 2021, she co-authored a children's book called Hayley's Ribbon, about how the hair ribbons from her nan helped her overcome her shyness as a child.

Cortnee Vine.

Image: Getty.


Cortnee Vine will be thinking about her quarter final winning kick for the rest of her life. And honestly, so will her entire country.

The 25-year-old Queenslander scored the match-winner after a VERY lengthy shootout to secure the team's semi final spot and after the match, she spoke about how unbelievable that was.

"It just doesn't feel like I kicked the penalty to get us to a semifinal," Vine told Optus Sport.

"It just doesn't feel real to me right now. I think it's something I'm going to have to watch back. It's one of those things you dream of, that it's going to happen and you're going to be the person to do it. For me to do, I'm speechless."

Vine plays for Sydney FC, and has previously played for Western Sydney Wanderers, Brisbane Roar and Newcastle Jets. 

She is in a relationship with her Sydney teammate Charlotte McLean.

The Matildas will play England in the FIFA Women's World Cup semi final in Sydney. Kick-off is 8pm AEST on Wednesday, August 16.

Feature image: Getty/Mamamia.

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