LEGEND OF LEXOW
Career of Abington superstar winding down
The ball comes to the feet of Cam Lexow and for a second or two, a discernable hush falls over the Abington bench.
Time and again, the Ghosts girls soccer team has seen Lexow take a mundane pass and do something brilliant with it so every time she gets the ball, they’re ready. From here on out, every match could be her last at Abington, the twilight of a special talent coming into focus.
“Not playing puts me down, I don’t ever want to sit out,” Lexow said. “If I’m hurt, I don’t tell people I’m hurt because I want to stay in a game.”
As a freshman, Lexow fit right in to a pretty senior-heavy Abington team and helped that group make its first playoff appearance in a few years. But she never got into the game, forced to watch regulation and two overtimes on the bench with a knee injury. It didn’t stop Lexow from hobbling onto the field to take a penalty kick, but the Ghosts lost the shootout.
The next two years, they didn’t find that same magic and struggled in the SOL National conference even as Lexow continued to develop into one of the best players in all of the Suburban One League. As a sophomore, Lexow gave a verbal commitment to play at the University of Virginia, one she’ll make official later this year on signing day.
It’s been a recent trend where some highly touted players leave their high school teams to play for their club’s developmental academy. That route existed for Lexow, a co-captain who played club for FC Pennsylvania Strikers, but it wasn’t one she wanted to take.
“My coach at UVA wanted me to play at a high level in club but I told him I wanted to play for my high school,” Lexow said. “Penn Fusion has the DA, which is the developmental academy and the Pre-DA so I told him I would play PDA otherwise I couldn’t play for my school. He allowed me to play a little bit lower, but I’m still training with the DA on the side. He also likes that I play basketball.”
At Abington, there’s a certain pride the school’s athletes take in representing their community. Lexow’s choice to don maroon and white, even if it didn’t translate to many wins as a sophomore or junior, made a statement to upand-coming athletes.
One of them, sophomore Casey Touey, now shares the field with Lexow.
“It means so much, when I was going into high school I had a choice to go academy or Abington and I saw what Cam did,” Touey said. “I said ‘if she can do it, then I can too.’ She’s been like a big sister to me throughout this whole process and I’ve just learned from her the whole time.”
Abington coach Rick Tompkins has called Lexow the smartest player he’s ever coached and has cited the senior co-captain’s poise after several close games this season. In a 3-2 win on the road at Hatboro-Horsham, with the Hatters throwing waves of pressure at the Ghosts late, Lexow simply dropped in to play center back and cleared a ball off the line in the game’s final
Tompkins, who played college soccer himself at Penn State, is excited to see what Lexow can do in the coming years at Virginia, but only after the Ghosts make their last playoff run with Lexow and her 10 senior classmates.
“She’s just different,” Tompkins said earlier this season. “Touey is just fast and she’s a handful while (senior Kailey) Horton is physical and will shield people off the ball. With Camryn, she’s not like that but she sees a ball and says to herself ‘that’s my ball,’ and just comes out with it on her foot.”
UVA coach Steve Swanson has historically recruited the suburban Philadelphia area well and Lexow will join several other southeastern PA standouts in Charlottesville next fall. The Cavaliers will feature Glenside resident Megan McCool (Springside Chestnut Hill), Phoebe McClernon (Notre Dame) and Sydney Zandi (West Chester Henderson).
Soccer is Lexow’s main sport but she’s been a huge part of the Ghosts’ girls’ basketball team’s success the past four years. As a freshman, she got spot minutes as an athletic defender, but found her way into the starting lineup midway through her sophomore season and hasn’t left it. With Lexow in the mix, Abington has made states all three years and won the District I title her sophomore season.
Lexow doesn’t play basketball outside the high school season save for a couple pick-up games here and there at the gym, but she was still one of the team’s better 3-point shooters on last year’s state playoff team. Her defensive ability on the hardwood, where she’s also a team captain, has gotten more impactful as she’s gotten more confident on offense.
“Cam is one of the most unique kids I’ve ever met because she’s so confident in what she does, no matter what she does,” Abington girls basketball coach Dan Marsh said after a state playoff game last year. “We play her multiple positions all the time, ask her to do multiple things and she’s always able to do it. She’s a tremendous athlete and a tremendous kid, Cam has been one of the keys to this.”
Abington thrived in its first season playing in the SOL Continental, accruing a 13-1 conference record and the American championship. A 2-1 win over last year’s state runner-up Neshaminy secured the Ghosts of a first round bye and the No. 6 seed in the District I 4A tournament.
Abington’s Camryn Lexow advance the ball near CB East’s Marissa Plack during recent action.
Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Gabby Cooper and Abington’s Camryn Lexow go for a loose ball.