Cougar Men Shut Out Owls; Move Up in NAIA Top 25
FULTON, MO -- The Cougar men's soccer team defeated William Woods University 1-0 Tuesday night in a key American Midwest Conference (AMC) game. With the win, Columbia improves to 11-0-3 on the year and 5-0-1 in AMC games. The Owls fall to 9-5 on the season and 3-1 in conference play.
Neither side was able to get on the scoreboard until Columbia's Marko Paunovic netted a goal in the 56th minute to put the Cougars up 1-0. Columbia was able to hold off the Owls for the remainder of the game to earn the shutout and move atop the AMC standings.
Junior Matt McKenna recorded the win in goal for Columbia, posting three saves in the shutout victory. William Woods posted eight shots (three on-goal) for the match, compared to nine shots (four on-goal) on the night for the Cougars.
In the latest NAIA Top 25 Poll released today, Columbia accumulated 448 points and moved up from No. 8 to No. 7 overall.
Rio Grande University and Lindsey Wilson College remained No. 1 and 2 respectively, with the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, Concordia University, and Belhaven University rounding out the top five.
Rafael Ramos and Matt McKenna claimed AMC Offensive and Defensive Men's Soccer Player of the Week for their efforts last week. Ramos, a junior forward from Sao Paulo, Brazil, figured prominently in both of Columbia's victories last week, which came in AMC play against Hannibal-LaGrange University and Dordt College in non-conference action. Ramos opened his week by netting the game winner in the Cougars' 1-0 win against Hannibal. He followed that with a goal in Columbia's 2-1 victory at home against Dordt.
McKenna, a junior keeper, earned both victories in goal for Columbia last week. Helped by a strong defensive effort, McKenna made three saves in the 1-0 shutout win against Hannibal-LaGrange. Matt followed that with a two-save effort in the 2-1 victory against Dordt College. The two victories helped Columbia move to 10-0-3 overall and 4-0-1 in AMC play.
The Cougars return home on Friday, October 12th for another AMC match-up with Harris-Stowe State University. Kick-off is set for 7:00 p.m. at R. Marvin Owens Soccer Stadium.