Athlete of the Week: Connor Durant
Goalkeeper Connor Durant saved 3 out of 5 penalty shots to send the Mavericks into the Third Round of the NCAA Tournament
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Our Athlete of the Week this week is someone who had a spectacular performance over the weekend. Connor Durant has been having a fantastic season in general, but he really shined Saturday night in the Mavs second Round playoff game in the NCAA National Tournament.
Connor Durant is a Redshirt Junior from Westminster Colorado and after his team secured their conference championship, the CMU Men’s Soccer team got the rights to host an NCAA Tournament game on their home field.
“I love playing here, we all do. we really thrive off the city and the fans.it makes our energy go through the roof.” Connor Durant said.
They could use the extra boost of energy, because it went down to the wire! 3 overtimes and a shootout. Durant had 3 huge saves at the end to help his team move on and said, “Going into this game, there was a little bit of revenge. Any time we play (Colorado School of) Mines it’s going to be competitive. It’s going to be an intense game. I was just glad I was given an opportunity to help win the game. It was just a great feeling, it was exhilarating.”
After 110 minutes of a scoreless game their coach had confidence in Connor and the team that they could pull it out in penalty kicks.
“For us we just tried to be as repaired as possible. We wanted to know what players tendencies were. We don’t really practice penalties. Some guys just have a knack for it, and he really does.” said Head Coach Jon Fridal.
Aside from the obvious talent on the field, the Mavs put in a tremendous amount of work to back it up and Connor is a huge part of that.
“I think he’s just great for our culture. the reality is he works so incredibly hard. He set the tone from a cultural standpoint on what hard work can do for a player and for a team.” said Head Coach Jon Fridal.
Next up, the #4 seeded Mavs take on the #1 seed in their region, the Cal State Golden Eagles.
That third round match-up will be in Los Angeles on Thursday, December 2nd with a trip to the Quarterfinals on the line.
Good luck to the Mavericks!
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