Rookie Goalie Bolsters Team’s Return to Playoffs


Erin Campbell gets ready for the game against Quabbin to start. | by Ally Jensen

by Ally Jensen

Though only a freshman, Erin Campbell is the goalie for the varsity girls soccer team. She currently has a record of four shutouts so far in the season. But neither her age nor her record is the biggest surprise. This is her first year as an official full time goalie.

“My sister was on the team, so she would keep telling me, ‘Oh you should play in net. We’re in need of a goalie this year. So I took her advice, and I was willing to try it,” Campbell said. “Even though it was new to me, the coaches helped me a lot, and they worked with me all the time. I really think that helped because they got to know me and know what I can do.”

Campbell even shocked herself when she earned the spot on varsity. “I never expected to actually be good enough to be on varsity. I just thought like, I don’t know, maybe I’ll try it out and see how it goes.”

She has played in net a few times but not as a permanent position. In the past her position on the field was left back. Her transition from left back to goalie was astonishing.

She first struggled a lot with self confidence, but once she started to believe in herself, the actual work wasn’t so difficult. In only about a month, with hard work, determination, patience, and plenty of practice up to five times a week, she was ready to play on the team.

When the season first began Campbell was intimidated by being on a team of upperclassmen and very few familiar faces. “At first it was nerve-wracking,” Campbell said. “But everyone on the team is just so supportive of one another that it makes it easier. Having my team being so positive and helpful really made a difference.

The first game, oh wow. When I walked out onto the field, I was literally shaking. I was so stressed out and really didn’t want to let my team down.”

The support that the team provides helps. “They tell me to be proud. And I genuinely feel protected by these girls out there on the field.”

The constant support from her teammates helps her to remember that she’s on this team for a reason.“I remember during our game against Shrewsbury my coach had to pull me out because I was so overwhelmed, and when I got to the bench I just kept hearing everyone tell me that I did amazing and I was only pulled out because coach didn’t want me getting hurt. Hearing all those comments actually got through to me.”

Josie Saliga, one of the captains on the team, was surprised when Campbell joined the team. “But I truly believe there’s no one else for this spot,” Saliga said.

Campbell’s older sister Elizabeth has been a big part of her soccer career. “I’m really proud of her, just getting to see who she’s become on the team. I think her getting to see me be so confident in her has helped her become more confident in herself.”

Goalie coach Marshall Erickson has been working and training with Campbell since August. He was the one who helped Campbell reach the level of skill she is at today. “He is a very very good coach, he taught me pretty much everything I know. He really helped me gain confidence and also progress into who I am as a goalie now.”

Erickson plans to work with Campbell throughout her high school career to guide her and overall help her grow as a player.“I can tell that with the work we do now, she will be phenomenal by her senior year.”

Although he recognizes how young she is, he sees her as he would any other player. “It’s crazy having her only be a freshman. I mean there are never many freshman goalies on a varsity team.”

Sophia Diplacido, another captain on the team, notices what Campbell is capable of. “If she’s only been playing as a full on goalie for one season and she’s already where she is, I mean you can only imagine where she can go next.”