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Jane Campbell, happy to be grounded
by Paul Kennedy, January 26th, 2012 5:41AM

TAGS:  youth girls


[FOUR THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ...] The 2012 Under-17 Women's World Cup in Azerbaijan should be the first international test for Jane Campbell -- assuming the Americans get the job done this time in qualifying -- but a big future is already expected of her. She's committed to Stanford for the fall of 2013 and was called up for the under-23 national team's fall camp. For four things to know about Campbell ...

GROUNDED APPROACH. Both her parents are former Navy pilots -- indeed, Mike and Crystal Campbell met in Pensacola, Fla., where he flew in the Blue Angels. You'd think that Jane would want to fly planes also, but she likes being grounded just fine.

“I’m not afraid of heights or anything," she says. "It’s just I really don’t like all the flippy-flips and G-forces and everything that comes with flying a plane. I have huge respect for my parents and everyone in the military, but I want to represent my country on the soccer field."

GEORGIA PRODUCT. Campbell started out competitively with the North Atlanta Soccer Association at the age of 11. As she continued with the NASA Elite 11, she entered the girls national team program at the age of 14 and has been a fixture ever since.

She has since moved on to another Georgia club, Concorde Fire Elite, whose girls program has taken off in recent year. And she attends Darlington School, a boarding school that features three sports academies, one of which concentrates on soccer.

GIRL AMONG WOMEN. Campbell and defender Morgan Andrews, another member of Albertin Montoya's U-17 national team, were the two youngest players invited to the under-23 national team camp otherwise dominated by WPS and college players.

Campbell is 5-foot-9, a nice size for a female keeper, but small in build compared to some of the players in camp whose thighs were bigger than her waist, according to her mom.

GOALKEEPING TRADITION. It's not too early to think of Campbell joining the elite corps of American keepers. She looks up to Hope Solo, star of the women's national team. The goalies she worked alongside at the under-23 camp were Aubrey Bledsoe (Wake Forest) and Emily Oliver (Stanford).

If you go back the last two cycles, every girls world championship at which the USA sent a team awarded the top goalie honors to an American. Could Campbell lift the Golden Glove award in Azerbaijan?

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