COLUMBIA — The addition of restrooms gets Columbia College soccer coach John Klein excited about the construction happening at R. Marvin Owens Soccer Stadium.
“(They) were long needed down at that complex,” Klein said.
Klein spoke at the Cougar Club fall media luncheon Tuesday about the approximately $2 million facility update that started two weeks ago and should be completed by June 2015, according to an email from a Columbia College spokesman. Outside of the restrooms, the update also includes four locker rooms, a concession stand, a ticket booth and a turf field that replaces the grass.
Klein said the turf should allow usage in the winter and spring.
“Really, I’ll go on record saying that I did fight (against) turf for a long time, but I think it’s best for the institution,” Klein said.
Klein, who coaches the men's and women's soccer teams, also touched on his teams’ progress so far this season. Both teams are coming off shutout losses in Alabama and Mississippi last week.
The women’s team lost about a dozen players from last year’s squad, which won both the American Midwest Conference regular season and tournament titles in just the program’s second year of existence. The victories sent the Cougars to the NAIA national championship, where the team lost 2-1 (4-3 penalty kicks) to Vanguard University.
Klein said he finds strength in the players returning to this year's team, including junior defender Mallory Page and senior midfielder Tori Magaletta. Klein thinks a conference championship is within reach.
“It’s going to take some time to get settled in,” Klein said. “We might not quite be at the same level (as last year's team) at this point.”
On the men’s squad, Klein said the Cougars have a difficult non-conference schedule, but the team is one of the fastest and deepest he’s ever coached.
The women’s team is scheduled to play Avila University on Sunday at 7 p.m. The men’s team's next match is at home against Missouri Valley College on Sept. 6 at 7 p.m.
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