Team: Houston Dash
When it comes to goalkeepers, it could be said that they sometimes fly a little under the radar. Yet, if there’s one you should be watching over the next month, it’s Houston Dash keeper Jane Campbell. Here’s all you’ll need to know about Houston’s number one.
Having played since she was a child, Campbell’s footballing career took a more serious turn when she enrolled at Stanford University. Campbell played for the Stamford Cardinal between 2013-2016 and proved herself to be one of the finest goalkeepers the Cardinal had ever seen. During her time at Stanford, Campbell was Pac-12’s Goalkeeper of the Year in 2015, earned a club high 35 shutouts (clean sheets), and racked up over 7400 minutes of playing time in a total of 84 games.
With such an impressive college run under her belt, is the not difficult to see why she was snatched up as the 15th overall pick by Houston Dash in the 2017 NWSL College Draft. However, Campbell notes herself, that she did not get off to the best of starts. The Dash lost 5-0 to Seattle Reign on Campbell’s debut. A little naivety in the the difference between college and professional football at that first appearance was possibly to blame. Campbell subsequently found herself on the bench for the next seven games, however it was not game over for the ever-determined keeper.
Motivated by her defeat, Campbell quickly dusted herself off and upped her training regime to prove her worth for the number one spot. And it didn’t take long for her to do so. Later in the season Campbell went on to start in five consecutive winning games, and the rest, as they say, was history.
So, what can we expect from Campbell in the Challenge Cup? Well, it’s safe to say that Campbell is no stranger to some big saves. Whether it is a finger-tip deflection or a feisty punch away, she will use her ranging skillset to get the job done. Bold decisions at the back have aptly earned her a reputation as a queen of clean sheets, with her keeping an impressive six last season.
Campbell is also noted for her leadership skills, and although she is only 25, she’s one that others look up to. This has probably been helped by her time playing with the national team, an experience that has developed her game into what it is today. This expertise on the world stage, paired with her cool and collected style, will now see her captain the Dash through the Challenge Cup alongside forward Rachel Daly.
With Campbell at the helm, big, bold and beautiful saves are certainly on their way.
Armband at the ready, gloves donned; keep an eye out, Jane Campbell is one to beat.
By Charlotte Stacey