It will be impossible for American Midwest Conference teams to beat Columbia College if they don’t score.
So far, opponents haven’t figured a way to do either.
The Cougars maintained their unbeaten record in conference play Tuesday with their 3-0 win against McKendree College at Owens Soccer Stadium.
Steve Williams earned the shutout, his fourth. He combined with Ignacio Raul Recondo for another.
The Cougars, 10-2, 5-0, extended their winning streak to eight and have shut out every AMC opponent, a string of 450 minutes.
The Bearcats (2-11, 1-3) were the first team in several games able to make aggressive offensive runs on the No. 24 Cougars.
“Every single player on defense played very well,” Cougars forward Juan Pablo Irrera said. “Their effort tonight was very important. The win is the defense’s also.”
Despite many attempts, the Cougars were unable to score until the 27th minute.
The first goal came when Irrera took a shot from the right side of the goal. His shot deflected down off the crossbar and bounced high. Standing in the center of the goal box, midfielder Stephen McMullen headed it past goalkeeper Brad Dietrich.
“Our guys finally found the net,” said John Klein, Columbia College coach. “They had to keep going back to the drawing board to find a way to put the ball into the net.”
With a 1-0 score at the half, the Bearcats’ offense came out strong, threatening to score several times in the second.
“I make saves when I have to, and the defense does the rest,” Williams said.
In 78th minute, Irrera headed a high 25-yard Chris White kick into the top right side of the goal to put the Cougars up 2-0.
Ivan Radenkovic stood 3 yards in front of the right side of the goal when he received a pass from the left corner of the field, settled it and took a high shot past Dietrich.
“Even though it was close, I think our guys felt in control of the game,” Klein said. “I’m excited about what we did tonight going into a tough stretch. It won’t be easy, but our guys are ready to battle.”