SAN DIEGO — Australia’s Emily Van Egmond returned to the San Diego Wave FC following her fourth career World Cup, and while her home country recorded their best finish in tournament history, the taste of a title remains for the midfielder.

“To see the nation get behind the girls the way they did was something really special,” said Van Egmond. “It’s obviously a huge honor to be able to represent your country at a home World Cup in front of friends and family as well.”

It’s been a full-circle summer for the Australian soccer star and Wave FC midfielder.

“I think always as a young inspiring footballer, you always have the dreams and hopes to one day represent your country and to have the opportunity to do it on home soil in a World Cup is obviously a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Van Egmond. “For me, when we announced that we were hosting it, it was just doing everything you can to be a part of that squad and thankfully I was.”

The 30-year-old is wrapping up her fourth stint with the Matildas as one of only eight Aussies to ever appear in more than 100 international matches, helping the team earn a fourth place finish – the highest in tournament history for Australia.

“To have the opportunity to play a lot of minutes and to do something incredibly special with this group of girls, it was really amazing,” continued Van Egmond. 

Now Van Egmond has returned stateside, seeking her first North American title with the Wave, who currently sit atop the NWSL standings with only four remaining matches. 

“There’s always a target on your back when you’re sitting at the top, but for us I think the main objective is focusing on one game at a time,” continued Van Egmond, “Soccer is an emotional rollercoaster at times, so to be sitting in the position we are now, I think it is fantastic for us as a group. We just have to maintain that and just treat every game as if it’s a final.”

While the Australian native reacclimates with Wave FC, it’s worth noting that we also asked her about her home country housing some of the deadliest animals on earth. 

“When I see a spider here, I just think it’s a little guy, its nothing nasty, I don’t think it’s something that could put you in a hospital, but then again I don’t actually really know,” said Van Egmond. “When you google it or whatever you wanna do it comes up with Australia having all these poisonous insects and whatever, but you guys have bears, Florida has gators, so I mean for me that’s more scary than a little spider I guess.”

That’s all Emily.