Michigan Soccer Player Criticized by Opponents After Scoring 16 Goals in One Game

A Michigan high school soccer player has been criticized for scoring 16 goals in one game "at the cost of another team's dignity," the Associated Press reported Monday.

Kevin Hubbell, who plays for Benzie Central High School, broke the state and U.S. records for most goals in a game on September 29 against winless Kingsley. The game was stopped at halftime with Benzie Central ahead 17-0.

"To go after a personal record like that at the cost of another team's dignity was a little uncalled for," Kingsley coach Tim VanWingerden. "Soccer is not the right place for that. Soccer is a gentleman's sport."

The backlash against Hubbell did not end at the field as it was slated to be discussed by the Kingsley school board on Monday night, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported.

"If high school sports degenerates into, 'Let's try to hang the most points we can,' and taking advantage of people when they're down, we're really missing the mark and need to reevaluate why we're doing this," Kingsley Superintendent Keith Smith said.

Benzie Central coach Chris Batchelder supported Hubbell in his achievement and said if there's any criticism, it should be directed at him, not his player.

"We are in a society where negative speaks before positive," he said. "I knew everyone wouldn't agree when he broke the record. I knew there'd be some people upset with it."

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Soccer Player Criticized for shut out
A Michigan high school soccer player has been criticized for scoring 16 goals in one game against a winless opponent. OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP/Getty Images

The Stags have had a rough season: They were 0-15 after another loss last week, according to a summary of game results.

Hubbell easily broke the Michigan high school record of 10 goals in a game set by Karl Trost of Cheboygan in 2003. He also set a national record, the Record-Eagle reported.

Hubbell and Batchelder knew the records were possible and discussed them during the game.

"I want this to stop, and I want to get back to appreciating soccer," Batchelder said. "All that noise is just noise."

Trost said he recalled criticism when he set the previous record during a 20-0 blowout game, but it was before social media.

"People get on their computers or their phones and just go wild. It's really sad. I hate it for this kid," Trost said of Hubbell. "I really do. I wish it wasn't like this."

Hubbell figures his 16 goals will be surpassed at some point.

"That's going to be pretty incredible," he said. "I just hope it doesn't happen too soon."