Even the best teams in Columbia College men’s soccer history couldn’t claim what this year’s squad could after Tuesday night.
The No. 2-ranked Cougars’ 2-0 win over St. Louis College of Pharmacy at R. Marvin Owens Field is their 15th-straight without a loss or draw, a new school record.
Even as Columbia outshot the Eutectics 35-2 and dominated the match, the Cougars waited 54 minutes before getting on the board through a College of Pharmacy own goal. Freshman Nick Brandt powered in a CC-scored goal, his team-high seventh of the season, to seal the deal in the 85th minute.
The old consecutive wins record was previously held by CC’s 2015 team, one that later advanced to the quarterfinals of the NAIA National Tournament and is currently the deepest national tournament run in school history. Coach John Klein credited the streak to his squad’s consistency and commitment to perform night-in and night-out.
“It feels good to watch really good soccer every time we step on the field,” Klein said. “The consistency of this group ... the performance every match this year ... that’ll end at some point, but right now we want to continue to ride it.”
Perhaps on paper, the score of Tuesday’s game should’ve been a lot more lopsided. Columbia currently sits atop the American Midwest Conference standings while College of Pharmacy is anchored to the bottom in last place, winless and having scored just three goals all season.
Why the Cougars didn’t score more was that the amount of shots they put on target (eight) relative to their total shot count was low, in combination with a defense-heavy strategy from College of Pharmacy that sat its entire squad behind the ball at points. That being said, Columbia’s defense still stood tall as one of the nation’s best, only letting College of Pharmacy get two shots off.
“When there’s 11 people behind the ball ... 25 yards from the goal, it’s not easy,” Klein said. “We would’ve liked four or five goals, but two goals wins the game. I still think we moved the ball well ... I’m happy with it.”
Tonight was also the first appearance in a Cougars’ jersey in over 11 months for Parker Moon, an All-AMC striker from last year who has missed the entire season as he recovered from a broken tibia suffered during the summer.
Moon, who said he wasn’t quite at 100% , played for only 12 minutes in the second half as a substitute. But CC’s leading returning goal scorer from last season believes that once he hits peak strength, he’ll add another threat to an already-loaded Cougars team.
“I got fatigued fairly easily but you know, it’s expected. I haven’t ran in nearly three months,” Moon said. “I do think that I add another dimension to this team ... the team is doing great right now and I’ll just be lucky to be able to add anything to it.”
CC women put double-digits on Eutectics
Columbia College women’s soccer laid the smackdown on St. Louis College of Pharmacy on Tuesday afternoon.
In a 10-0 rout of the Eutectics at R. Marvin Owens Field, the American Midwest Conference-leading Cougars outshot their foes 46-0, had an 18-0 advantage in corner kicks and overall did whatever they wanted to, whenever they wanted to.
Seven different players scored, with prime performances on the pitch coming from Isabella Govero — who bagged a hat trick — and Kelsey Mirts, who had a first-half brace.
With three regular-season games remaining, all against teams who can’t catch the Cougars in the standings, CC just needs to win one more AMC match to clinch the conference title and secure an automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament.
“Everybody got to play ... different players found the back of the net. That was important for confidence,” coach John Klein said. “(The women) can start to look toward postseason play. I’d like over these next three matches to continue to get players in the game and prepare for the postseason.”
Govero, a freshman from O’Fallon, upped her goal tally to seven on the year as she moved into second behind star striker Mirts in goal leaders on the team.
Govero scored all three of her goals in the second half, including two back-to-back in the 84th and 85th minutes for her most productive scoring day of the season. She also notched an assist off a corner kick setting up Kristen Graser’s goal in the 67th minute.
“Considering (College of Pharmacy) put other good teams in overtime, it’s good for us to blow them out and show how much better we are,” Govero said. “(We feel) pretty confident, especially going into the conference tournament, like (being) highest-ranked.”