Lacrosse: Egg Harbor Township's Connor Houghton sets career goals record
Connor Houghton didn't expect to break a school record he saw set while he was a freshman.
The Egg Harbor Township High School boys lacrosse player remembers watching Jonathan Kopistecki, a senior at the time, wrap up his high school career. Kopistecki left EHT with a record 116 career goals and is now a junior at Immaculata University.
Houghton, now a senior, remembers his reaction to Kopistecki scoring 100 goals, the first 100-goal scorer in EHT's five-year varsity program history.
"During my freshman year, I didn't think I'd ever get there," Houghton said Tuesday. "I said to myself, 'Wow, 100 goals is a lot.'"
After Houghton scored 33 goals his sophomore year, he thought to himself that if he could just match that effort the next two years he would get at least 100 goals.
Three years later, Houghton broke the record with his 117th goal in a 16-2 victory over Mainland Regional on Monday.
Houghton was relieved after breaking the record. Ever since he scored his 100th career goal April 9 against Middle Township, the team had been counting down to when he would pass Kopistecki, coach John Ohlsen said Tuesday.
"Everybody understood what a great feat it was," said Ohlsen, whose team is No. 11 in The Press Elite 11. "A few of them actually played with Jon Kopistecki their freshman year so they knew what a great player he was."
Houghton scored five goals in the game Monday. His fourth goal, the record-setting goal, came with 5 minutes, 18 seconds left in the third quarter. His record-tying goal came about three minutes prior.
After Houghton tied the record, he went to junior Ryan King on the field. The two agreed that when Houghton scored the record-breaking goal, King, who has 81 career goals, would be the one to get the assist.
It was symbolic for Houghton to have King get the helper on such an important goal. Houghton said he believes that a year from now, it will be King who will break his record.
"I will put money on it that Ryan King will get it next year," Houghton said.
Ohlsen called a timeout immediately after Houghton scored to allow the team to congratulate Houghton. In that flock of Eagles was Houghton's younger brother Kyle, a junior defender.
"It was pretty cool to watch," Ohlsen said. "(Kyle), who was playing defense, ran all the way down from the other end of the field to give him a big hug."
Houghton wasn't the only player to hit a milestone Monday. In girls lacrosse, Middle Township's Maddie Anagnou and Millville's Megan Hoffman scored their 200th goals.
They probably won't be the only ones this week. Millville's Corrine Etter has 294 career goals. The Bolts are scheduled to play Oakcrest today at 4 p.m. in a Cape-Atlantic League girls lacrosse matchup.
Southern Regional boys (11-1) have won 11 straight games. They look to continue that streak with Shore Conference matchups against Jackson Liberty (4-7) today and unbeaten Barnegat (10-0) on Thursday.
Ocean City girls (6-6) will play Lower Cape May Regional (7-4) today in a tough CAL matchup. Both teams are 5-4 in the conference.
Contact John Russo: