COLUMBIA — Columbia College men's soccer coach John Klein found a new unexpected offensive weapon for his team.
Junior Edgar Reyna netted his second game-winning goal in as many games for the Cougars when he found the end of junior John Hutchison's cross in the 32nd minute against visiting Friends (Kan.) University on Saturday evening. Reyna's goal was all the offense Columbia College needed for a 1-0 victory.
"It feels amazing," Reyna said. "To get a second goal in two games is pretty good. I'm excited."
His first one came in the second overtime period against Lindenwood last Wednesday and led to a 1-0 victory over the No. 23 Lions 1-0.
Reyna, throughout his career was traditionally a midfielder, and never thought he would play forward for the Cougars when he transferred from Pima Community College in Tucson, Ariz. In his only two starts at forward, he already has two goals.
Reyna said the last time he played forward was when he was a little boy.
And now the little boy grew up into an effective scoring option for John Klein's club. More than 6 feet tall, Reyna is the tallest forward for the Cougars and because of his size, he wins many head balls and helps Columbia College gain and keep possession of the ball.
"I think we're kind of little on top," Klein said. "We'd like to have a big body up there. We'd like to have someone up there win some head balls. Somebody a little bit stronger that will hold the ball and allow our midfielders to support it. He's been doing that for us. It's been a big help."
Apart from Reyna's ability to hold the ball, Reyna also has a powerful shot, making him an ideal forward.
"On top of that," Klein said, "he can crack it."
Reyna also thinks his speed is another of the reasons he played forward for the past two games.
"I believe it's my speed," he said, "and I can hit the ball."
Reyna also proved he is a versatile player for the Cougars.
Against Friends, Reyna started as a forward, but also saw time playing midfield and even defense in the second half because many Cougars received yellow cards. In order to prevent those players from picking up a second penalty, Klein shuffled the lineup.
Reyna's performance the past two games impressed his teammates.
"Last game, I think he was the best on the field," junior Dylan Barduzzi said. "I was surprised because he had never played up top. He did a really good job and today he scored again. He's doing a really good job."