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For the first time in her career, North Montgomery’s girls soccer team no longer needed Sidney Campbell to score all the goals.
Instead of asking Campbell to replicate her 20-goal sophomore campaign, Chargers’ coach Julie Hodges needed her best player to run the offense, and find open teammates in order to help put points on the board.
“We knew the potential Sidney had to be a complete soccer player, but we didn’t have the team that allowed her to do so in the past,” Hodges said. “I talked a lot with Sidney about this next step into being a complete player. We knew that after a quality freshman year, then breakout sophomore year that teams were going to target her.”
Opposing teams did their best to stop Campbell, but that didn’t stop her from once again rewriting the history books, and leading the Chargers to a record-breaking season.
The junior scored 19 goals to bring her career-best record total to 50 goals, and broke the single season assist record with 13 to give her a program-record 51 points on the season. She also led North Montgomery to a third-straight nine-win season, tied for the most in a single season in school history. These awards and accolades have earned Campbell the Journal Review Girls’ Soccer Player of the Year.
Through the transition, Campbell saw herself develop into more of a leader on a team made up of youth and inexperienced players.
“I feel like my game has developed more than just a soccer player this year by stepping into a big leadership role on the team,” she said. “Last year I was able to learn from our awesome captains, Brynn Anderson and Camilla Clark, and then apply those skills on the field this year. Getting the girls pumped for games, talking to refs in a respectful tone, encouraging everyone to give max effort no matter the score, and promoting good sportsmanship on the field from both teams are all things I learned from them and was able to apply to the game this season.”
Campbell’s more balanced attack led to three teammates scoring at least seven goals each, and helped the Chargers win seven of their last 10 games.
“We focused a lot on the type of runs and patterns she was making to get behind the defenders and finding the open player when she was double teamed or couldn’t get her shot off,” Hodges said. “The success she had doing this exceeded my expectations. A large credit goes to Sidney for developing into this complete player, but none of it would have been possible without the supporting players like Teegan Bacon, Lydia Dugard, and Nina Gable putting away the goals.”
Freshman Teegan Bacon was second on the team with 13 goals, while sophomore Lydia Dugard added 10, and junior Nina Gable scored seven times. North Montgomery set a school record with 55 goals on the season.
“We had a special team this year, and I think that played a huge role in everybody’s game development,” Campbell added. “Knowing that we had multiple girls on the team who could put the ball in the back of the net made us all confident in passing the ball, which in turn increased goals for lots of girls, and helped me to become a more well-rounded player.”
Hodges recalled a season-defining moment for Campbell, when she took the ball more than half the length of the field, beating three defenders, and instead of taking the shot, passed it to a wide-open Bacon for a game-tying goal against Faith Christian.
“The keeper wasn’t expecting the pass, and neither were the other defenders,” Hodges said. “In the past, Sidney would have taken the shot. She had the awareness, positioning, and skill to lay off the pass to guarantee us the goal we needed.”
As a three-sport athlete, Campbell’s work ethic has pushed her toward new heights just a little over halfway through her high school career.
“Obviously a lot of work goes into a soccer season,” Hodges said. “But the part that sticks out to me is the offseason. Sidney is a three-sport athlete, and she is very successful in all of her sports. She takes pride in being an overall athlete of many sports, and puts in the work to allow her to be so successful.”
Campbell says she uses her time in the pool during the winter, and time on the track in the spring to improve as a soccer player.
“I think being a multi-sport athlete is one of the greatest things a person can do in high school,” she said. “The skills and abilities you learn in one sport always translates to other sports. I like to run track because running hurdles helps develop speed and agility that I use on the soccer pitch. Then playing soccer increases muscle strength that I use for swimming. I love to compete and I am thankful that high school athletics gives me that opportunity.”
A good work ethic comes easy for Campbell though, and she is reminded of that by her favorite Bible verse every time she takes the field.
“One of my favorite Bible verses, Colossians 3:23, is my motivation for anything I do in life,” she said “It says to ‘Do everything as if you’re working for the Lord,’ and so I apply that to every game. No matter what sport, whether it’s a game or a practice, I try to give my best effort because when I play, I’m playing for Jesus. I desire to push myself and become a better athlete because I’m playing for Him.”
Up next for Campbell is swim season, and after that track and field, and then back to the pitch. And no matter what sport or season she is in, hard work, and the desire to get better will always be the focus.
2019 Journal Review Girl’s Soccer All-Area Team
Sierra Hutchison — Crawfordsville
Faith Rogers — Crawfordsville
Kelsey Anderson — North Montgomery
Teegan Bacon — North Montgomery
Sidney Campbell — North Montgomery
Sydnee Turner – North Montgomery
Addi Charles — Southmont
Belle Miller — Southmont
Mia Myers — Southmont
Lexie Odum — Southmont
Claire Remley — Southmont