Laura Alleway's departure from the Women's World Cup has devastated the Matildas just days out from their opening match with Italy.
Alleway, who started every match of the 2015 World Cup, was reluctantly axed by Ante Milicic from his squad on Thursday after failing to recover from the foot injury suffered in training.
Team stalwart Lisa De Vanna said the Matildas squad was awash with emotion.
"To see her do all the hard work and to miss out ... that's just the worst feeling," De Vanna said. "She's one of the nicest persons in the team. It's devastating.
"Aivi (Luik) was quite emotional. I was upset. Chloe (Logarzo) and a few girls were upset.
"But (Alleway) has always been someone that cared about the team (first). She had her moment and she came back to the team and said 'go out there and play'."
Milicic gave the Melbourne Victory defender until three days before the tournament commenced to swing a change, saying she deserved every opportunity to prove her fitness.
Alleway broke down with pain in a fitness test on Thursday night (AEST), ending her hopes of a third World Cup.
"We're all pretty gutted for her," defender Alanna Kennedy said. "We're just trying to be around her at the moment ... it's a massive loss.
"We're just so sad for Loz. She's worked so hard and is a big part of our team ... we're all here for here at this time."
Uncapped Canberra United defender Karly Roestbakken has been called into the squad in Alleway's place.