COLUMBIA — When Columbia College junior midfielder Milos Milosavljevic shoots, he likes to take his chances from 20 yards out — a strategy that hadn't yielded a goal for him the entire season.
He'd come close more than a few times, finding the woodwork rather than the back of the net.
The Cougars' five goals came from Dylan Barduzzi, Milos Milosavljevic, John Hutchison, Jimmy Herrman and Yudai Yamaguchi.
With the win, Columbia College improves to 11-5-2 and advances to the tournament semifinals where they will face McKendree at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Lebanon, Ill.
But during what likely would be the last home game for the season against Missouri Baptist University, Milosavljevic's drought ended.
Instead of rocketing a ball from the top of the penalty box, the Serbia native flicked in a cross from junior teammate Yudai Yamaguchi with his head just a few yards from the goal. Milosavljevic's goal, the second of the night for Columbia College, helped kick-start a 5-0 Cougars' rout of visiting Missouri Baptist on Saturday night in the quarterfinals of the American Midwest Conference tournament.
Fellow Serbian Nikola Velickovic said that ironically, Milosavljevic struggles with heading the ball.
"Milos, is like extremely bad at head balls," Velickovic said. "We always make fun of him in practice. Whenever he needs to hit the ball, he just ducks."
Milosavljevic is just happy he scored.
"It feels awesome," he said with a grin that looked ready to burst into a full-fledged smile. "I haven't had a goal the whole year. I guess it's the right time."
Velickovic said Milosavljevic expressed frustration about not scoring this season, especially because he had scored goals in each of the two seasons prior to this one for the Cougars.
"He was crying the last couple of games about how he didn't score and how he had a couple good shots," Velickovic said. "So, I think he's extremely happy that he scored a goal."
Velickovic likes to tease Milosavljevic, but the two are close friends. In fact, Milosavljevic helped recruit Velickovic to play for the Cougars.
The two were acquainted beforehand because Velickovic played against Milosavljevic's brother, who was on Velickovic's club team's rival squad. Head coach John Klein and Milosavljevic used that connection to get Velickovic to play for Columbia College.
Ultimately, Velickovic speaks fondly of Milosavljevic.
"He's an extremely smart guy, and I'm not just talking school-wise," he said. "He's a 4.0 student. He's a really good friend to me."