If the Coeur d’Alene High boys soccer team were going anywhere this season, it needed someone to step up.
The Viking faithful got their wish in the person of senior forward Garret Lowell.
A two-year starter who leads CdA in scoring with 15 goals this year, Lowell is enjoying a breakout season.
With 5A Region I play looming, Lowell and the Vikings have to step up one more time. CdA will likely be the No. 2 seed behind Lake City and play host to No. 3 Lewiston in a loser-out match Monday.
Lowell doesn’t guarantee wins, but he said the pieces are in place for a run to the state tournament.
“We’ve had a rough start, but we’ve come together a lot more this year than in the past,” Lowell said of the Vikings. “We’ve been playing with each other for a while, so everyone knows what everyone else can do. We trust each other.”
Coach Eric Louis said he and Lowell have established a trust of their own.
“He’s been playing for me since he was a freshman – we were JV,” Louis said. “Garret’s got great speed and he’s always had a knack for scoring – finally I think his maturity and his gamesmanship and his body are all in synch and he’s peaking at the right time.”
Louis has come to depend on Lowell for more than just scoring goals.
“The guys have always been looking to him, and he’s really emerged as a true team leader this year,” Louis said. “The guys take a lot of cues from him during a game and off the field. He might not even realize what an impact he has had on his teammates this year.”
Lowell said he may not be the prototypical team leader, but he’s fully aware of how his play influences his teammates.
“I’m not the team captain or anything, but I know how important it is to work for every ball,” Lowell said. “And never letting down, no matter what – that I’m setting the right example.”
Lowell said he wants to play college soccer, but hasn’t yet made any decisions.
“My parents are pushing me to go to a four-year school,” said Lowell. “But I’ve been thinking about trying to play at NIC for a couple of years and then transferring to a bigger school.”
Louis said Lowell has the chops to make it at the next level.
“A lot of that comes down to how visible he makes himself,” Louis said. “If we get into the state tournament, how he performs down there (will have an effect), because, of course, there’s going to be coaches there.”