McCoy stands alone

Conner McCoy breaks national record in Alcona victory

Conner McCoy stops his third shot of the night and makes a record breaking save at the 32:27 mark in the second half.

LINCOLN — Conner McCoy stands alone at the top of the nation for saves in a career.

On a night where the Alcona soccer team secured a North Star League championship, defeating Oscoda in front of a ruckus home crowd by a final score of 2-0, this night was about McCoy cementing himself as one of the top high school goalkeepers of all time.

“I was thinking about the record all day leading up to tonight’s game and I’ll admit I was nervous going in, but I realized our defense is really solid, we’re a good team and it eased the pressure a little,” McCoy said. “I have to thank god and my entire team for everything that happened because without them, none of this would have been possible.”

McCoy entered the night just three save shy of breaking the state and national record held by Corky Hickmott of Montrose High School who ended his career with 1,185 saves from 2004-2007.

It took longer than some had thought for McCoy to reach the impressive milestone as McCoy stopped just one shot in a first half that was controlled by the Tigers.

Alcona kept the pressure on the Owls much of the first half and had several scoring opportunities, but failed to find the back of the net as both teams went into the break tied with everyone waiting in anticipation for a record to be broken.

Exactly two minutes into the second half, McCoy stopped his second shot of the night to tie the record and it seemed to light a spark in the Tigers as they responded by breaking the scoreless tie with a goal from Jordan Steiner at the 35:31 mark in the half to put Alcona on top.

Oscoda did its best to quickly respond, pushing the ball up field, but this night belonged to McCoy and the Tigers.

History was made with 32:27 left to play in the game as McCoy made his third save of the night off of a shot from a corner kick.

An emotional McCoy received a standing ovation and the contest was stopped as McCoy was greeted by coaches and teammates during a short break to get recognized before returning back to his goal.

“It’s a huge milestone for me because I’ve been looking forward to breaking it for a while now,” McCoy said. “Last year I knew I was getting close and got to within 100 saves of the record this year and I had been counting down ever since.”

Alcona got an insurance goal with 18:23 left as Steiner scored his second goal on an assist from Koedy Berryhill to put the Tigers up two and it was more than enough on a night where McCoy earned a shutout victory while breaking a national record and helping Alcona win a North Star League championships.

“It was a nice feeling and a good victory for us. The team is really coming together and we have some more work to do. The records are broke and now we can move on and continue working hard,” Alcona coach Tim Munro said. “Conner worked very hard and earned this record and he’s going to continue to build upon this record because we have a lot of tough games left and he’s going to have chances to continue making saves.”

McCoy ended the night with eight saves and currently has a national record all to himself as he has tallied 1,191 career saves to date.

Alcona improves to 9-6-1 on the season and will be back in action on Saturday when they travel to Gaylord to play the Blue Devils.

Jonny Zawacki can be reached via email at jzawacki@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5690.