Senior soccer star on scoring spree for Seton

Powell's prolific start to season hard to ignore

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

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Erik Powell cannot help but smile.

He does not really want to hog all the attention, but he understands this streak of his is something special.

photoSeton Catholic's Erik Powell has scored all 13 of his team's goals this season. The Cougars are 3-1.

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Powell, a senior from Seton Catholic, opened the soccer season with 13 goals in his team's first three matches. More than that, he scored all 13 of his team's goals.

"Honestly, it's kind of weird, and it's kind of cool," Powell said Wednesday morning, prior to his team's match against Ridgefield later that night. "Hopefully, we keep winning."

The Cougars ended up losing Wednesday night. The Spudders, keying on Powell, of course, shut down Seton 3-0.

Still, Powell has his personal streak alive. He's the only Cougar who has scored a goal this season.

It might seem like the Cougars are a one-man show. Actually,according to Powell, the reason he is scoring so many, er, all of his team's goals is the Cougars are the exact opposite of a one-man show.

"This is our first year we actually have a full team," he said. "I have so many good players who can get me the ball. I have the easy job, by finishing."

He noted freshmen Josh Polen and Josh Balsiger for their strong play in their first weeks of high school soccer.

Then there's Brennan McDaid-O'Neill.

"He doesn't get a lot of recognition. He's one of the most influential players on the field. He does all the dirty work," Powell said.

His teammates are enjoying this, too, while it lasts. Before Tuesday's match against Woodland, they asked Powell how many he was going to get. Powell overheard one of his teammates say, "Nice goal … again" while they were on the field.

"After the game, they say, 'Are you going to let anybody else score?' I hope they do," Powell said.

The Cougars better find others to score because they will be missing Powell and three other teammates for a a few games soon. Powell, McDaid-O'Neill, Aaron Kashas, and Tristan Ryan are going to Indonesia to build a basketball court as part of the Courts for Kids charity.

Soccer opponents will not miss Powell. In fact, opponents are starting to pay a lot of attention to him now. He is a marked man on the soccer field.

"It definitely makes me work a lot harder," Powell said. "It's not fun having someone follow you."

But it will be a good thing in the long run, he said.

"If they're just guarding me, it allows other players to get free," he said. "They won't have enough defenders to mark all of our players."

This likely will be the last season any soccer team will have to worry about Powell. He plans on playing another game in college.

An all-Trico League kicker for the Seton football team, Powell has accepted an invitation to be a walk-on with the football team at Washington State. He expects to redshirt in the fall, then compete for kicking duties beginning in the 2014 season.

"I really love soccer. I really, really do love kicking," he said. "I think I'd enjoy football more."

No matter, Powell will always have this special memory with Seton Catholic soccer.