COLUMBIA — Fresh from a top-10 national ranking, the Columbia College men's soccer team welcomed another highly ranked team to R. Marvin Owens Soccer Stadium.
The ninth-ranked Cougars came from behind to beat No. 11 Missouri Valley College Vikings 2-1 on Wednesday night. Sophomore midfielder Liam Cain scored the winning goal in the 69th minute by faking left and shooting right past the Vikings goalkeeper.
"It was one of those times where you don't really know what you're doing, it just fell to my feet," Cain said.
The Cougars fell behind early, as they had in their previous match, a 6-2 victory over Mount Mercy University. Missouri Valley's junior midfielder Nicholas Alexander scored in the ninth minute, but the Cougars quickly responded. An 11th minute header by junior forward Rafael Ramos, which came from a corner kick, drew the Cougars even.
After conceding early, Columbia College's defense clamped down, limiting Missouri Valley to only two shots on the game, compared with the Cougars' 12.
The tempo slowed during the second half until Cain moved farther up field to search for the winning goal.
"No one has Liam's speed," head coach John Klein said. "It's his God given talent, we just had to find a way to use it."
This was the Cougars' second victory over a top-25 team. This first occurred when they upset No. 6 Grand View University 3-2 on Aug. 31. Klein viewed the win as nationally significant but still feels that there's room for improvement.
"We'll get a lot of respect across the country with a win like this, but we need to stay humble and keep playing both sides of the ball hard," he said. "Shutouts were our forte last year, so we need to stop digging ourselves early holes, and minimize scoring."
The Missouri Valley match provided a staunch test against highly-ranked opponents and lent a postseason-like atmosphere to grounds.
"This game felt like a taste of a national tournament game, so it was good preparation for us going forward," Cain said.
The victory raises Columbia College's record to 4-0-1. The Cougars next face Kansas Wesleyan on the road at 8 p.m. on Saturday .