A True All-Around Player
by Ryan Reiswig
Stanford women's soccer coach Paul Ratcliffe paid one of his captains the ultimate compliment when asked about her.
"I wish I could clone her," said Ratcliffe.
Ratcliffe is referring to his senior outside back, midfielder, and forward, Camille Levin.
Levin, a 2010 All-Pac-10 honorable mention, is the Cardinal's human Swiss army knife. Levin can do it all from defending, to assisting, to scoring. One of the Cardinal's leaders, she started every match as a junior at all three positions.
"She could play outside back and be one of the best outside backs in the entire country," said Ratcliffe, entering his ninth year as the Cardinal's head coach. "She's so talented you can play her up front and she'll create goals for your team and score goals. We saw it last year in the final four when she scored a big goal against Boston College. I want to play her everywhere. I want to play her in back, in the middle and up front because she's such a versatile player."
Levin, a native of Newport Coast, Calif., takes advantage of playing so many different positions. That versatility enables her to have a great grasp on how her opponent may play her. If she were a fisherman, it'd be like she can fish seeing from the perspective of the actual fish.
"I think playing different positions made me better at different parts of my game," explained Levin. "As a back I know the types of things that will work best when a forward is coming at me and I may use that when I play forward. Playing all over my whole life has developed my game more overall."
Levin began to play soccer at age 6. Three years later, she began to play for the Slammers, a club team out of Newport Beach. Levin played on this team until she enrolled at Stanford and it's where she learned to become one of the most versatile players in the nation.
"From the day I was nine till the day I was in high school, I played outside back to outside mid, I played forward when I needed to, and I played in the midfield sometimes," said Levin, a psychology major. "My coach from when I was ten years old was always moving me around, playing different positions."
Being so talented and diverse has made her an indispensable member of the Cardinal. Many times the "utility player" is an average-talented bench player who is valuable because of their ability to fill in in a pinch. In Levin's case, she's an all-star utility player. Put her anywhere on the field and she will not just play the position, but play it at a very high level.
"Fantastic player, one of the best one on one defenders in the country," said Ratcliffe. "Great skill level, can play forward, get crosses in, she's just a quality player. Cammy is an incredible leader on the team, she's one of our captains."
While playing so many different roles, Levin ultimately has a favorite. Being a self-described "competitive" player, she takes pride in preventing goals from the outside back position.
"If I had to choose scoring or tackling someone and preventing a goal I'd say preventing," said Levin. "I think defending is something that comes really natural to me. I also like to attack and create goals and from that outside back position. It's almost like a winger where I get up and down the field, defending, and getting in attack all the time."
While excelling at the level she has so far in her Stanford career, her time as a Cardinal is winding down. This doesn't mean her soccer career is ending by any means, however.
"My personal goals are to improve everyday and hopefully be able to play in the professional leagues next year," Levin says of her near future. "Bigger than that, maybe be on the women's national team, play in the World Cup, and play in the Olympics."
Her coach also has no doubt she's destined for the next level.
"[She is a] great competitor," said Ratcliffe. "She's a pro-type player playing in the college level."