Humble, fierce and composed. A few of the traits senior midfielder Kimberly Campbell carries as one of the most essential players for the Montclair State University women’s soccer team. Campbell has been a key piece of the women’s soccer team throughout their undefeated season of 10-0.
A year filled with goals and great results for the women’s soccer team has been possible with Campbell. Her fierce gameplay joined the Red Hawks her sophomore year as she transferred from Ithaca College, spending one season with the women’s soccer team there. Transferring from Ithaca to Montclair State was memorable for the head coach of the women’s soccer team, Patrick Naughter.
“I got an email from her at the end of her last semester in Ithaca saying ‘Hey Coach, what do you think?’,” Naughter said. “It was great news. I said ‘What do I think? Let’s go!’ You know it was great to finally have her.”
Campbell’s time on the field has been noticed and for obvious reasons, it has shown the results the team and coaches have been looking for. But Naughter wanted to shed some light on the conditions Campbell played in and what she does for the team.
“One of the assistants told me last night that [Campbell] was really sick,” Naughter said. “She wasn’t taking the night off, but it’s not because she wanted to build her stats, but she wanted to be there with her teammates and to be able to win the game.”
Campbell was playing with a slight cold and a lingering hamstring injury throughout the game against Farmingdale State College on Sept. 22, which ended in yet another victory for the Red Hawks, partially because of the hardworking play by Campbell and the team in general.
“I have been having a lingering hamstring injury and I felt sick with the change of seasons,” Campbell said. “I went through with it because everyone plays for each other and they’re there when I’m not 100% there.”
An injured athlete may be considered to many as inefficient due to not being able to play at their full potential. But Campbell is as versatile as they come, an athlete who is ego-less, and one that fits right into the team. When she’s not there to score goals in the forward position, she’s in the midfield creating opportunities and pressuring the opposing team.
“This is a team that’s an ego-less offense as a coaching staff and we know we’re not on our winning streak without [Campbell’s] work rate,” Naughter said. “She does a really good reading and picking off passes when it’s needed most. Playing against [Campbell], you can never be relaxed.”
Campbell, in the early stages of the current season, has shown how much of a threat she can be to offenses. Going into three consecutive games this season from Sept. 7 to 17, Campbell recorded a goal for each game. Especially when it mattered most. Playing long minutes and controlling the tempo in the attack for all games, she showed she is a force that isn’t to be reckoned with.
“It was surreal when I had that going [goal streak], those games that I scored in too,” Campbell said. “I feel like those were important for the game too.”
Campbell scored a goal in the closing minutes of a win against Ursinus College resulting in a 2-1 result, and as much as Campbell deserves the praise, she goes on to show how selfless she is and instead congratulates her teammate senior goalkeeper Haley Martin for her stunning save.
“Yeah I scored but then not so long after [Martin] is making an ESPN Top-Five save to keep us winning,” Campbell said. “It’s always what you see on paper, but there’s so much more behind it and that’s why I love this team.”
Campbell, as significant as she is to this team, does not speak out about it, but she makes up for it by keeping the team in line when it’s under pressure.
“She’s one of our older kids and she has a ton of experience playing for me,” Naughter said. “She’s a kid that does a good job settling us and relaxing us, a team that needs it.”
Campbell feels right at home with the Red Hawks compared to her previous school. And everyone is excited to see what she accomplishes next on the pitch.
“The difference between the two teams [Ithaca and Montclair State], is this team just feels like you’re playing with a family,” Campbell said. “Everyone is playing, not for themselves, but instead, everyone’s playing with and for each other, which is one of the main reasons we’re [10-0] right now.”