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Girls Athlete of the Week: North Hall's Alden Powell

POSTED: March 11, 2013 9:44 p.m.

North Hall’s Alden Powell has been playing soccer since she her childhood, and from the age when teams begin using goalkeepers, she has been in the net.

“At first, when I was little it was because I was lazy and didn’t want to run, but when I got older and realized I had a knack for it, I really liked it because I was good at it,” Powell said.

She has trained with club teams in Gwinnett, professional coaches and her North Hall coaching staff, and all of her hard work shows on the field.

The Lady Trojans have four wins so far this season — each of the them shutouts and each with Powell minding the net.

Saturday, North Hall and Powell took a 1-0 overtime win against White County in the championship game of the Northeast Georgia Mountains Cup in Gainesville.

For her efforts, Powell is The Times Girls Athlete of the Week.

“The whole team worked really hard in that game, and I got a lot of help from my sweeper (Sarah Hollifield),” Powell said. “I only had a few shots that I had to block really.”

According to Lady Trojans coach Nathan Wallace, what makes Powell an outstanding goalie is her versatility and strength.

“All the girls feel confident with her back there,” Wallace said. “We can pass the ball back to her on the ground, and she can clear it out, so we get more scoring opportunities. We also use her in free kick situations because she has a really strong foot.”

Another one of Powell’s strengths is her ability to challenge an opposing player if she breaks out on her own with the ball.

“She’s very good one-on-one,” Wallace said. “She can come out of the net and stop them, and she’s made several big saves that way.”

Wallace also noted that Powell is excellent at making diving saves or catching the ball in mid air, but over the years she has even improved upon this and carried it through to other areas of her goalkeeping.

“We can tell that her timing is getting a lot better,” he said. “She really knows when to go down on the ball, when to make the dive, and when to attack the ball. She’s always been good in the air, so one of her issues was coming down on the ball, but she’s gotten a lot better at that.”

In Powell’s opinion, it’s practice that makes perfect, so she commits most of her time outside of the classroom to working on her game.

“I practice a lot,” she said. “I practiced with a team in Gwinnett the whole fall season, I practice with a coach two hours a week, and I practice with the field players for an hour and a half before I do keeper stuff.”

The intense practice schedule and the variety of her workouts helps Powell improve in all areas of her game, according to Wallace, who added, “if she wasn’t a goalie, she would be an outstanding field player.”

Powell, however, said she hasn’t always had the confidence to make the big saves and be aggressive when needed.

“I get nervous because since I’m short, it’s really easy for people to chip the ball over me and score,” she said. “It’s really taken a lot of my coaches pushing me to get comfortable with that.”

To help with her nerves, Powell did what she always does and practiced. She noted that she and her dad would go outside, and she would simply kick the ball over and over again to strengthen her foot, and she took weight training in school to strengthen her arms for when she catches the ball.

“Getting stronger definitely helps,” she said. “Every time I face shots, I face all angles and varieties, so that helps, too.”

Powell works hard not only to help herself, but also to help her team physically and mentally. When she performs well, the team gets a confidence boost.

“As a team, the longer we go without getting scored on, the more confident we are,” she said.


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