Campbell tells Wahine they can win WAC title
Adria Campbell isn't afraid to share.
Whenever her Hawaii teammates ask what it's like to play at the NCAA tournament, the Rainbow Wahine soccer player has all the answers.
Nevada at Hawaii
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park Stadium
TV: Live on KFVE (Channel 5).
"I've been there and can give them a lot of positive feedback," said Campbell, who advanced to the national tournament twice during her playing days at Southern Methodist. She transferred to UH after two successful seasons with the Mustangs.
"Everyone plays the best they can because you know what is at stake. It is the culmination of all those months of hard work. You go for a weekend and you know you have one shot at it. If you win, you play again.
"It is an awesome experience. Everyone should have that experience at least once."
The Wahine, picked No. 1 in the coaches preseason poll, want to clinch first place in the Western Athletic Conference tonight against Nevada or Sunday vs. Fresno State.
The move to Hawaii after two seasons at SMU was a smooth transition for Campbell.
"When I was at SMU we were No. 1 in the WAC. I transferred to UH and we're supposed to be No. 1 in the WAC. Nothing has changed," Campbell said.
"All we have to do is stick to our game plan and not worry about the other teams. They are the ones who are supposed to worry about us."
If there has been any frustration in her first UH season, it is the sprained left ankle she suffered Sept. 23 in the match against Butler. She tweaked it in warm-ups prior to the San Jose State match last Friday.
"It has been an easy adjustment for me. We played the same formation at SMU and it is easier here because our fullbacks make really good runs forward providing more support," Campbell said.
The junior began the season up top partnered with Natasha Kai, but that lasted just one match. Center midfielders Jessica Domingo and Gabina Bohlman suffered knee injuries in the season opener and Campbell changed position out of necessity.
"I was shoved back (to center midfield) and I was a little bit confused. At SMU we played a diamond on defense. Here everything is flat and I wasn't used to springing back on defense," Campbell said.
She had played the attacking center midfield position at SMU so it wasn't long before she was comfortable.
Then, just when Domingo and Bohlman returned to action and Campbell became a striker again, she went down 37 minutes into the Butler match with a sprained left ankle.
The Punahou graduate missed two matches recovering from the injury.
"Adria is still limping, can't put any oomph in her kicks with one leg. That's a real handicap for a striker. Her injuries have been quite debilitating," Wahine coach Pinsoom Tenzing said.
"Adria brought a lot of experience to our program. She is a very technically polished player and combines well with her teammates."