THE TIMES 1994 WINTER ALL-COUNTY TEAMS : Campbell’s Move Provides Spark for Marina’s Offense
Although the Marina girls’ soccer team entered this season as the overwhelming favorite to win its second consecutive Southern Section Division I title, Coach Bobby Bruch knew the Vikings had a key weakness: putting the ball in the net.
With leading scorer Amy Peterson graduated and playing for USC and standout midfielder Rhiannon Tanaka sure to draw crowds of defenders even when she didn’t have the ball, Bruch needed to find a dangerous scoring weapon.
Enter Cassie Campbell.
“I knew somebody was going to have to pick up the slack and she was my choice,” Bruch said.
Good choice. Campbell, a junior, moved from midfielder to forward and became one of the most feared players on the Southern Section’s best team.
“Every time I needed a big game, she was there,” Bruch said. “And that makes her stand out from the rest of the players, not only on our team but in the rest of the county.”
Campbell, The Times Orange County player of the year, finished with 29 goals and 14 assists, accounting for more than half of the Vikings’ 80 goals. In the playoffs, she scored three times, one in each of the victories over South Torrance, Mater Dei and Palos Verdes Peninsula as Marina (28-0-1) won the Division I title.
The Vikings extended their unbeaten streak to 39 games, the third-longest streak in Orange County history, after Mission Viejo’s 84 (1986-89) and El Toro’s 42 (1990-91).
Campbell’s most important contribution during the playoffs was an assist in a first-round game. With the score tied, 1-1, and Dana Hills’ goalkeeper Sumone Nicole stopping everything coming her way, Campbell got free on a breakaway with one minute left in regulation. Campbell’s angle to the goal was bad, so instead forcing a shot as she neared the end line, she turned and passed to a waiting Amy Rubenstein, who put it in from the near post.
“Things were getting a little tense,” Campbell said. “But something told me that we’d score. I knew our team could come back. We have character.”