BANGOR — Growing up, 2018 Searsport District High School graduate Benjamin Powell received instruction from Husson University soccer coaches and thought highly of a star Husson goalkeeper from a young age.
Now, as a member of the Husson University men’s soccer team, he not only reunited with a pair of former coaches from his younger days, but he also is coached by a goalkeeper he has long admired.
Powell creds the history of the Husson men’s soccer team and its coaching staff as the reasons he was drawn to play for the team.
He appreciates the team’s standard of play expected of the roster and the relationships he formed with coaches Dennis Mullins, Gavin Penny and Brian Potter (the latter two coached Powell prior to Husson when Powell played for the Seacoast United Black Bears travel soccer program.)
On the field, Powell is determined to improve all facets of his play, as he says nothing is ever perfect.
If he had to choose that which he is most focused on, it would be his decision-making, distribution and handling.
“My top goals for these are finding a mindset where I do not hesitate to come out for balls or being able to make that decision quicker, dealing with balls in the air cleanly [and] confidently, and being able to stay above 80% with all aspects of my distribution,” he said.
Powell has stuck with soccer through college thanks to his older brother, with whom he played with for one season in high school as the younger Powell entered high school and the elder Powell graduated from high school.
“He always kept giving me encouragement and he always told me ‘you can do anything while you [are] in the net’,” the younger Powell said. “So having this motivation helped me find my passion for both goalkeeping and soccer.”
Gaining goalkeeper insight from Potter was a huge bonus for Powell.
“He was simply the best goalkeeper in New England and that Husson has ever seen,” said Powell, noting it is an honor to be coached by Potter.
In his freshman season, Powell appeared in seven of the team’s 20 games, starting in three contests. He recorded 17 saves and allowed five goals.
Through the 2019 season, he has appeared in four of the team’s nine games, starting in each of his appearances, and has recorded 14 saves and allowed five goals.
In the classroom, Powell is striving to earn greater than a 3.7 grade point average in an effort to help the men’s soccer team achieve the highest combined grade point average by a Husson sports team for the school year.
Powell, whose major is secondary education, also aspires to be a scriptwriter specializing in screenplays.
“My dream is to be able to both write a story, as well as animate them,” he said.
“I think I would enjoy teaching students scriptwriting [since] it is a class that we don’t see a lot of in Maine,” he said.
To achieve his goals and be a successful collegiate goalkeeper, Powell is inspired by family and friends, as well as his Christian faith.
“Whenever I’m feeling down in the dumps, both my family and friends are the first ones to help me out,” he said, noting he is also motivated by the team’s fan base. “I always tell myself to not do it just for me, but for my fans and teammates. I am also a firm believe in Christianity and God helps me overcome many obstacles that perhaps need more strength and guidance.”
To date, Powell says his great accomplishment in life is being accepted into Husson and playing the highest level of soccer the team is known for playing.
In his downtime, Powell enjoys hanging out with teammates, spending time with family and helping the less fortunate.
“I enjoy working at food pantries or soup kitchens when I have the time,” he said.
When returning to the Midcoast, Powell spends time photographing the Midcoast landscape and writing stories.
He would describe himself as a tourist to his own town as he enjoys walking through the most popular areas and visiting area shops to observe the culture.
In the future, Powell hopes to visit England, especially Brighton, his mother’s birthplace.
“I would love to see how different the culture is there, as well as see how the culture shaped my mother and how she became the person she is today,” he said.
For Midcoast athletes seeking to play collegiate sports, Powell advised to work hard in sports, but prioritize academics. Though, as long as one maintains a mindset of not procrastinating and using time wisely, Powell believes success will come.
For someone constantly striving for success, Powell’s favorite quote, fittingly, is: “Never let success get to your head, never let failure get to your heart.”
Reach George Harvey at: firstname.lastname@example.org.