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O’Dwyer fulfills Division I soccer aspirations

February 9, 2016

By: CHRIS PRIDE

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – When Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) men’s soccer coach Enda Crehan took over the Patriots program in the spring of 2014, his first order of business was bringing in international talent to help diversify the team’s makeup.

One of the first international players he recruited to Martinsville, Va. was Connor O’Dwyer of London, England. Coming from a country known for developing rich soccer talent, O’Dwyer quickly fit into the system Crehan was trying to create. Now that the midfielder has enjoyed two years of progression at the junior college ranks, he is now bound for what should be even more success at the NCAA, Division I level.

O’Dwyer signed his national letter of intent Feb. 4 to play at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. UMass not only fits the engineering major’s academic profile, but he also gets the chance to jump right in and be an important figure for the Minutemen. The Atlantic-10 school finished 4-3-1 in the conference last season but was just 5-13-1 overall.

The midfielder was a key part to the Patriots’ success over the last two seasons. Crehan said O’Dwyer was a vocal leader on the pitch and his IQ for the game only increased as he starred in many big matches over that time. He scored four goals to go with five assists for 13 points in 2015, while he had 8/6/22 the season before. His performance in 2014 earned him All-Region second-team honors.

Crehan added that his numbers dropped because of his switch to becoming a defensive midfielder and the anchor in front of the PHCC defensive four.

“Connor had the position on the field as a central defensive midfielder. He has good passing ability but the key for him is that he scores goals at the right time,” Crehan added.

A civil engineering major, O’Dwyer has also done his part in the classroom as a scholar student at the highest level. He scheduled 19 credit hours during his first semester at PHCC and did so with courses like calculus and physics, excelling with a plus-3.5 GPA. In fact, O’Dwyer introduced the keynote speaker, a NASA astronaut, during a student leadership conference in the fall of 2014 in Virginia Beach.

He was a commonwealth of Virginia scholarship winner and scholar All-American. On top of being an NJCAA and NSCAA All-Region selection, he also was named PHCC’s Male Athlete of the Year.

Over the last three semesters and now in his final at Patrick Henry, O’Dwyer said he’s had some of the best experiences of his life while living in Henry County, thousands of miles from his native land. The positive experience at the college has translated into greatness in the classroom, and just as valuable, success on the soccer field.  

“I think my game matured while I was at (PHCC). I have a better understanding of what I need to do to help influence the game. I want to be the best,” O’Dwyer said.

As for reaching that same potential at the Division I level, the sophomore said he’ll take the same open-minded approach in the Northeast as he did when he first arrived in the Piedmont.

 

Filed under: Men's Soccer

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