COLUMBIA - In their home-opener Friday night, the Columbia College men's soccer team threw out mini-soccer balls to welcome the crowd.
Coming off of a road win at Berry College, which is located in Georgia, the Cougars were unable to repeat their luck and give their home fans a win over Grand View College, falling 1-0.
"We had plenty of possession, but I think there is just not a hunger to finish it off in the box," said head coach John Klein of the Cougars loss. "We need to clean up free kicks and corner kicks...This team has to improve their desire on set-plays."
With a couple chances in the first half for both the Vikings and the Cougars off of corner kicks to score, neither team capitalized. Columbia tallied 24 shots to Grand View's 17 for the entire match.
The teams held each other at zero for most of the game until Tom Heavy of the Vikings scored during the 78th minute.
"The goalie punted the ball and we didn't have depth in our midfield and our defense, so they only had to beat one guy," goalkeeper Zach Clem said on the Vikings' goal.
Clem recorded four saves for the match.
With nine minutes left to play, Cougar fans were filled with hope for a late goal to tie it up. Milos Milosavljevic barely missed the net with less than a minute remaining in the second half.
The missed opportunity served to highlight how the Cougars are looking for an equal amount of production from all of their players.
"I think there may have been too much reliance or hope that Dylan (Barduzzi) would save the day after last weekend's goal," Klein said. "Dylan's not going to carry us the entire season. Somebody else is going to have to do it."
Barduzzi has been the only scorer for the Cougars this season so far. He scored the tying goal in Columbia College's second game against Mid-Continent College in Kentucky and added sboth goals in their win against Berry College last Saturday.
"I'd really like to see some juniors step up...as juniors, they need to be leaders," said coach Klein.
Columbia College is scheduled to play rival Lindenwood University at home at 7 p.m. Wednesday here in Columbia. The Cougars are looking for their second win to improve their record to 2-2-1.
"We have got to come out, play hard, and pull together a full 90," Clem said. "Lindenwood's got a star player back this year who is really dangerous up top. We have to be organized in the midfield, then our defense can play off of that...I like our chances, but we still have to bring it."