Getting to Know: Dianna Connor, freshman soccer forward

Dianna Connor is freshman soccer player for the Wilkes University women’s soccer team. Playing the forward position, Connor has been kickin’ it since she was 4 years old. A graduate of Pleasant Valley High School, Connor finished her career with 69 goals and the honors of First Team All-Conference player as a junior and a senior. She has also been named Channel 13 Female Athlete of the Week and Pocono Record and Times News Soccer Player of the Year. Connor is an undeclared major, but plans to declare and get her degree in special education. Here are some other things you should know about No. 17.

What made you want to start playing soccer?

“When I was little I played basketball, softball, everything, and soccer was just the one that fit me because I hated standing still. With soccer I was always moving and I just stuck with it. My coach when I was young recommended I play with the travel team, and the coaches I’ve been with have always pushed me to higher and higher club teams, ultimately leading to my decision to play in college.”

How does it feel to score three goals in your first three games for Wilkes?

It felt good, but I know I can be working a lot harder than I have been. Other than that, I’m happy, but I’m not really satisfied.

Is there anyone on the team you look up to for inspiration?

“Probably Ali (Alicia Roberts) because we feed off each other a lot in games playing the same position. In the one game against Muhlenberg, I had the first goal, then I assisted her for the game-winning goal, and just because she knows the game a lot I try to feed off of her and ask her questions.”

Who is a professional athlete that you look up to?

“Probably Alex Morgan or Abby Wambach because of their history with soccer.”

What does playing soccer at a collegiate level mean to you?

“It means a lot, especially because our team chemistry is really good. In high school, the teams weren’t as strong as the bond we all have here at Wilkes. It really means a lot to me; I try to do the best for my team because we never want to disappoint each other.”

What are your pre-game rituals?

“Before games, I don’t like to do too much because I don’t want to psych myself out, but I have handshakes with my boyfriend and one of the girls on my team. Also, right before we start off, I usually pray before the game. We have music in the locker room and our warm-up disc that is pretty much all the songs I would listen to anyways.”

Do you find it hard at all to balance school and sports?

“I probably wouldn’t do as good as I do if I didn’t’ play soccer. School has always been hard for me, even in high school, and soccer was the one thing in my head I would think ‘OK, if I don’t do good or pass this, I can’t play,’ so that’s one thing that motivates me more than anything else would. We do have set study hours and our coach has academic meetings with us all the time so he’s on top of us so none of us can really slack off.”

What are your expectations for the year as a new player on the team?

“I didn’t expect myself to come out a good as I did. I really don’t tend to think ahead too much, I just come out on the field and do what I’m supposed to do. I never go out with a mindset of scoring x-many goals, I go off of what I learned in practice and hopefully my hard work will pay off.”

What do you want to do with your career in special education?

“I want to be a special needs teacher or go into elementary special ed or be a learning support teacher.”

Say you broke a school-record this year, what would that do to motivate you for next season?

“As a freshman, that would be great but my mindset would be that I’m now in my sophomore year, and I have other things to worry about; that was last year, this is this year, let’s start out on new foot and hopefully do better than I did last year.”