“You’re concussed,”the training staff said to the now-senior goalkeeper Lindsay Campbell two years ago, following IU’s upset of No. 6 Florida.
Campbell started the match but required a substitute after a collision in the 67th minute. IU Coach Mick Lyon called it a “pretty significant challenge that knocked her into next week.” The injury began a new chapter in Campbell’s IU career, a long road back to being the team’s goalkeeper
Lyon was late to start recruiting Campbell in 2008.
“I had a senior goalkeeper — because she redshirted through injury — that was supposed to be coming back the next year,” he said. “After the season, she changed her mind and decided she wanted to graduate.”
And so he needed a new goalkeeper.
Campbell hails from Dallas. She was playing in a tournament for her club team Sting Royal 90 in Florida when Lyon first noticed her.
“I was down in Florida watching an event and saw Lindsay play for a club team,” Lyon said. “(I) went back and watched her again. I was impressed with her handling. She had played at a club program that was at a good level. She was a senior. I could reach out to her. She was keen on getting out of Texas. It was a pretty quick decision.”
Campbell made up her mind to commit to the Hoosiers on a campus visit.
“I had a blast visiting,” she said. “There were no cliques on the team.”
As a freshman in 2008, Campbell played in 14 matches, starting 12, and played every minute of the conference season. She posted a 0.78 goals against average in conference play.
Her sophomore season, she completed a 658:37 shutout streak that spanned the last four matches of her freshman season and the first four matches of her sophomore campaign. The streak, the second-longest in school history, ended when she
allowed an own goal in the 62nd minute against Florida.
Five minutes later, she sustained a concussion.
“We were flying the next day to go to Atlanta,” Lyon said. “She was so out of it that our team doctors and trainers wouldn’t allow her to fly.”
A week later, the Hoosiers were in Hempstead, N.Y., and Campbell was back in goal. She missed only one match due to the initial concussion sustained against Florida.
Then, on Oct. 24, 2009, one day prior to the IU’s match against Iowa, she began showing effects from the concussion and missed the final five games of the season as a precaution.
Her 0.57 goals against average that season led the Big Ten and still stands as the best single season average in school history.
As a junior, Campbell played in five matches, starting two.
“Last year, there was some tremendous competition,” Lyon said. “Shannon Flower was coming in as a freshman. Lauren Hollandsworth was a tremendously dedicated
Additionally, Campbell had to deal with two deaths in the family.
“It was my cousin over the summer,” she said. “He was like a brother to me. Over the summer, it was tough. That’s part of the reason I wasn’t fully mentally there. And then my uncle at Christmas. It had an impact. I tried not to let it, but it did.”
“I told her she could quit at any time she wanted,’” said her mother Shari Campbell. “But she didn’t want to quit. We counseled her not to play until she really felt she was ready. Something I admire about Lindsay, she wasn’t going to put herself on the field until she felt like she could do her job well.”
Campbell said she is once again emotionally ready to play.
“Honestly, what brought me out the most is having fun instead of coming to practice and being afraid that I’m going to get hit in the face again,” she said. “As long as I focus on the fun side, it really relieves the stress and makes playing a lot easier. I feel back to my original self.”
This season, Campbell has started all 11 games she has played, posting one shutout and a .780 save percentage. At the Notre Dame adidas Invitational, she earned Goalkeeper MVP after 10 saves in two matches.
“She has been playing well this whole season,” senior midfielder Devon Beach said. “She’s gained so much confidence. The saves that she’s making have kept us in games. I feel so comfortable with her back there. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Having her teammates’ confidence makes a significant impact in her play, Campbell said.
“It makes a huge difference,” she said. “Being able to connect in that way, having trust in who is in front of you and them having trust in me makes us play so much more fluidly.”
Currently, Campbell has 12 shutouts in her career, which is the third-most in program history. She’s earned 16 wins, placing her fifth in school history. Still, she said she won’t let her mind drift to such things until her career is finished.
“I try not to think about statistics,” she said. “It’s dangerous to focus on records while you’re playing because it can play mind tricks with you. I try to keep the ball out of the net. If I’m able to do that with the help of my defenders, the stats will come on their own.”