|Title:||Class of 2008|
For over a decade, the WPI Field Hockey program was the best in New England. Of all the great field hockey players that have worn the Crimson and Gray, no one matched the offensive credentials of Nicola (McGowan) Campbell.
A native of Ireland, Nicky transferred to WPI from the University of Limerick for the 1988 season and quickly became a premier goal scorer. She notched 20 goals and added three assists as the Engineers went 19-1 and won the NEW-8 regular season crown. WPI avenged its only loss with a resounding 8-0 victory over Wellesley in the NEW-8 championship game tilt. For her accomplishments, she earned second-team All-Conference honors.
"Nicky had the unique ability to visualize a play, the offensive skills to unfold it, and the mental toughness to make it happen," noted teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Sue Tarallo.
The following year brought more of the same as she tallied 25 goals and nine assists. She combined with Kim Cloutier to score 46 of WPI's 76 goals; she earned first team Regional All-America accolades and was named a National All-American. The Engineers went 17-2-1 onthe season, winning the NEW-8 regular season title before blanking Southern Maine 4-0 in the first round of the NCAAs. The team's goal of winning the national championship was dashed when Cortland State scored with just one second remaining to win their second round contest 2-1.
"Nicky played with so much finesse that I would sometimes be left in awe watching her, rather than catching her perfect pass across the goal!" remarked fellow Hall of Famer Danielle (Luongo) Fries.
In her third season, the Crimson and Gray went 18-1, winning the NEW-8 regular season title. The Engineers exacted revenge on Smith and defeated the Pioneers 1-0 in the conference championship contest. Nicky continued to post amazing offensive numbers, tallying 22 goals and 20 assists. She earned her second straight first-team All-New England nod and was again selected a first-team Regional All-American.
Nicky capped her standout career in grand fashion during the 1990 season, scoring 27 goals while handing out an eye-popping 29 assists. The team continued to win, finishing with a 17-2-1 record and yet anotherNEW-8 tournament crown. She was named a first-team All-American and appeared with teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Kim Gabis in Sports Illustrated's "Faces in the Crowd."
Her career stats are simply mind-boggling. She amassed 94 goals and 63 assists and graduated as the all-time leader in New England in points (251). Equally impressive was the success that WPI enjoyed with Nicky on the field. The Engineers compiled a 71-6-2 record over her four seasons, for a winning percentage of .911. During Nicky's time on Boynton Hill, WPI won three NEW-8 tournament championships.
Her talent and skill did not go unnoticed. She was selected for consideration to the U.S. regional and national teams but could not participate due to a new rule requiring U.S. citizenship.
Nicky graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering and earned her master's degree in manufacturing engineering from WPI in 1993. She has returned to Limerick, where she lives with her husband, Brian Campbell, and their daughters, Maria, 4, and Anna, 2.