Columbia College soccer looks to continue success as Rafael Ramos steps up

Thursday, October 10, 2013 | 9:48 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — It was the greatest goal Columbia College soccer coach John Klein had ever seen in college soccer.

The score was tied 1-1 12 seconds into the second overtime period of Tuesday night’s match between the Cougars and William Woods when Columbia senior forward Rafael Ramos sent a searing shot from 35 yards out past William Woods freshman goalkeeper Evan Melone.

Columbia College soccer

Columbia Women (9-2-1, 6-1) vs. Lyon College (8-4, 3-3)

When: 4:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: R. Marvin Owens Soccer Stadium 

Columbia Men (9-2-2, 6-0-1) vs. Lyon College (4-6-3, 3-3-1)

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: R. Marvin Owens Soccer Stadium


Not only was it a beautiful goal; it was an important one as well.

Ramos' strike sealed the win for Columbia, its fifth straight during a current eight-match undefeated streak. Klein praised Ramos’ play. He was confident that the forward and the rest of the team could continue their excellent form in spite of a season-ending injury to Ramos' striker partner, junior Marko Paunovic. Paunovic hurt himself during a 2-0 win against Freed-Hardeman on Oct. 1. The junior was the team’s second-leading goal scorer behind Ramos.

“Losing Marko for the remainder of the year has put us in a mode of experimentation up top,” Klein said. “Rafa’s (Rafael) really stepped it up to be the super dangerous player up there.”

Though Ramos leads the team with nine goals in the 10 matches he’s played, Klein is looking to the rest of his players to start contributing as well.

“We need to find a partner for him, or a couple different players, even if it’s by committee, that will go up and cause problems in the offensive zone,” Klein said.

Columbia College looks to continue its winning streak Saturday against Lyon College at home, and Klein said that everything must start with his defense.  

“We first start from defensive organization, and then when we win the ball out of our defensive shape, we’ve got to get numbers into the attack,” Klein said. “We have to join Rafa at speed and commit to the attack.”

Klein said he hasn’t scouted Lyon yet but expects another tough match in the American Midwest Conference.

“Every team that comes here for the rest of the year is going to be giving us everything that they’ve got."

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