Captain’s Corner

Michael Diakunczak, Reporter

Kate Campbell, sophomore and starting goalkeeper on the women’s field hockey team, has played an impactful role for the past two years. In her freshman debut season, it did not take long for Campbell to see the field  between the two posts of the net. Out of 18 regular season games, Campbell had playing time 13, 12 as a starter.  Campbell showed off her goalie skills and recorded a total of 71 saves. For a freshman, those numbers are pretty impressive, but it was the beginning.

Campbell did not have a sophomore slump. She started every game of the 2017 season, which consisted of 18 regular season games, two Middle Atlantic Conference Freedom Championship tournament games and a NCAA D-III Championship game.  Campbell had 109 season saves, an average of 5.19 saves per game, and she was ranked fourth in the MAC Freedom during conference play with  1.26 goals against average and a .769 save percentage. She also recorded four shutouts, one of them in the MAC Freedom Championship game. All of these achievements gave her the most exciting one of all: an All-MAC Freedom honorable mention.

Behind Campbell’s dominating season as goalkeeper, the Lady Cougars made a huge leap of improvement from the 2016 season when the Lady Cougars held a record of 5-13, not even qualifying for MAC Freedom Championship play. Improvement was obvious in the 2017 season when  the Lady Cougars held a record of 12-9 and won the second MAC Freedom Title in the program’s history. The program earned its first in 2015.

With that momentum, the reigning MAC Freedom Champion team is looking for even greater achievement next season. The Lady Cougars fell to a powerhouse, Franklin & Marshall,  in the first round of the NCAA D-III Tournament to end the dream season. But the MAC Freedom Title is not enough for Campbell and the rest of the team.

“My goal and priority for this upcoming season is to put in as much work as I can for the team in order to win another conference championship and play deep into November,” Campbell said.  “MACs and getting a taste of what it’s like to play in the NCAA tournament was a dream come true, and I expect nothing short of that for this season.”

The rise of a successful program starts with what happens when others are not watching. The Lady Cougars are on a mission to repeat as MAC Freedom Champions and make a run in the the NCAA D-III Tournament. Campbell and the rest of the Lady Cougars are willing to sacrifice their time to do what they can to improve every  day as individuals, as a team and as a program.

Campbell said it can be rough to keep up with all of the work, but she looks forward to playing and practicing with her teammates every day.

“My favorite things about the program are my teammates and the coaching staff. My level of play wouldn’t be where it’s at now without either of those.”

She said the  offseason is “jam-packed.”

“We’re together every day, whether it be for study hall, workouts or practices. It’s busy, but the girls make it easy to enjoy. Everyone on the team works so hard and comes in with such a positive attitude, and it makes it all really fun.”

Campbell said standing out as a player is the last thing on her mind; she wants to be one of the pack. 

“My goals for my career as a whole are to just do what I can for the team and keep improving for them. Making crazy saves and getting individual recognition feels great, and I want that, but I want success for my team more. I want to be a three time MAC champion and create some waves in the NCAA tournament these next two years. Those are my priorities as a hockey player,” Campbell said.

Catch Campbell and the Lady Cougars as they blast through a new season.