Beattie Goad wrote a list of goals at the start of the year. On it was a Westfield Matildas call up.
Now, the former Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City player is Westfield Matilda number 206.
She would be forgiven for thinking her Westfield Matildas debut would happen a little differently.
“It still feels a little bit unreal, overwhelming, I’m still processing it. But it's a really good feeling. It was a tough game to debut in, that's for sure. And not an expected way to come on. But all things considered, it was really exciting. And there's nothing more special than putting on the green and gold.” Goad told matildas.com.au.
In the 11th minute, Germany opened the scoring. Four minutes later Karly Roestbakken was forced off the park with an injury. Enter, Goad.
“I initially was just thinking okay, I'm going on. Deep breath.”
“And then I honestly had no time to process it. The next minute, I was in the game, and I was just, football thoughts were then throughout my head: okay, drop back, stay in line, push up.”
Goad’s journey to stepping on the pitch in Wiesbaden started typically enough, kicking around with her brothers in the backyard and playing with the boys.
“And then I joined NTC programs and state programs, which then led on to W-League. And playing with Dave Edmondson and Joe Montemurro, who really believed in me so much.”
Goad hasn’t played in the league in years but it was part of the formative stages of her football career.
Sharing the pitch with the likes of Jess Fishlock, fellow Westfield Matilda Aivi Luik, Lauren Barnes, and Christine Nairn became invaluable. And the latter two helped put her on the path to college soccer.
The 23-year-old graduated from Stanford University with a degree in human biology and two NCAA Division I championships, but gained so much more.
“I think it taught me perseverance. College teaches you how to go through hardship. Whether that be injury, whether that be not playing the position you want to play, whether that be juggling class, and exams, and running to practice, running to class without having showered, I think getting through hardships and persevering and committing and believing in yourself.”
Westfield W-League fans will remember Goad more as an attacking winger. The shift to defence has been solidified at her current club, German side SV Meppen.
“In terms of the left back role, I think that's really come into play when I've been at Meppen. So I've really learnt way more about fullback. I played a little bit of fullback in college, but it's been a solid position of mine in Meppen.”
After securing full time work straight out of Stanford, her brother and friends encouraged Goad to continue pursuing football.
Within two weeks of speaking to the coach at Meppen, the Melbourne-native was on her way to Germany.
She’s played in all 17 of Meppen’s games in the Frauen-Bundesliga so far this season.
And all of this – Melbourne, Stanford, Meppen – has culminated in her first game for her country. But for Goad, the debut is not her achievement alone.
“I think it means a lot of things. Firstly, it means a huge deal for my family. Just the amount of work and sacrifice they've put in. This is them also wearing the jersey.
"I told my mum that the amount of hours that my brothers have trained with me, the amount of hours that my mum has driven to and from training, both parents work full time. So it's not been easy. So I'm wearing this jersey, but so are my family.
“The other thing is that I wear it for all the other girls that have this dream. I know so many girls want to be here and want to wear this jersey. So I just try to take it with as much honour as I can. And put my heart out there because representing your country, it's just once in a lifetime.”