AUBURNDALE — Durant (15-7-2) defeated two-time state champion Auburndale to advance to its first state final four, winning 2-1 in overtime in Friday's Class 5A region final.
Jamin Hollingsworth, who is in his sixth year coaching Durant and played for the Cougars from 1996 to 2000, was elated.
"It feels incredibly incredible," Hollingsworth said. "The whole experience is just awesome."
In the fifth minute of the second overtime, Cougar forward Connor Bass scored the winning goal.
"I cannot tell you the feeling that went through my head as I scored that goal," he said.
Bass, a 6-foot-5 forward and goalkeeper for the Cougars last season, scored on his injured right ankle.
Auburndale (18-3-7) had the momentum early, and put pressure on with a goal from Saul Estrada midway through the first half.
"The first 20 minutes Auburndale clearly outplayed us," Hollingsworth said. "Once we got used to the field, settled our nerves a bit, we started to put the pressure on them."
Durant goalkeeper Rafael Saldanha made some key saves to keep it a one goal game going into halftime.
The Cougars answered early in the second half as David Eisenhauer scored off of a free kick to tie it.