COLUMBIA - Cougars forward's John Hutchison's shoe-licking heroics fell a little short in Columbia College losing effort against visiting Illinois Tech Friday night 3-2.
The junior licks the bottom of his cleats superstitiously before buying them in order to help him score goals and he netted two of them tonight, adding his total to three on the season.
Hutchison still expressed disappointment despite his big night.
"The only thing on my mind is that we didn't win," he said.
Injured junior Brian Eike, who suffered a rib injury in the Cougars' loss against Bellevue University last week, said he wished he could play to help his team.
"I wanted to go into the locker room and put my shoes on so bad," he said.
Eike's frustrations stemmed from the fact he thinks the Cougars can play better. This didn't stop him from getting up on his feet at yell at his team during the game.
"I feel like they don't got to earn it," Eike said. "We are a good team and we deserve to be in the top 25, but we ain't showing it."
The Cougars scored first with Hutchison stealing the ball from a Scarlet Hawks' defender deep in Illinois Tech's end and flipping it over the goalkeeper's head in the 20th minute. The Scarlet Hawks answered just moments later, tying the match at 1-1.
In the second half, the Cougars conceded a quick goal in the 58th minute. But Hutchison again found the back of the net with a header in the 61st, leveling the game at 2-2. The junior college transfer nearly gave Columbia College the lead later on, but his shot just missed a few inches wide.
"I thought Hutchison was going to get the hat-trick," coach John Klein said. "He doesn't miss that chip very frequently."
The Red Hawks pulled ahead in the 82nd minute and the Cougars could not equalize.
Cougars sophomore defender Nikola Velickovic hurt his knee in the second half, but returned later. In his absence, Illinois Tech looked extremely dangerous on offense.
According to Eike, Velickovic said he felt like he did not have control of his knee.
Klein said the Cougars needs to have more consistent intensity in the future and passion in their play, and expressed his frustration in his team's lack of it in their performance.
"I have to coach from the sideline," he said. "I'm 45 years old. I want to coach Monday through Thursday and I want to come out here and see it get done on Friday night. I find myself coaching from the sideline for 90 minutes."
Columbia College's record now stands at 1-2.