Liam Smith is now the all-time goal scoring king for the Reeths-Puffer boys soccer program, and he broke the record on Thursday in typical fashion, in the midst of a very big performance.

Smith, a senior and fourth-year varsity player, netted four goals in the Rockets’ 8-0 victory over Muskegon in an O-K Green conference matchup at R-P’s Eric Marcil Field.

His fourth tally, which came with about seven minutes left in the first half, was the 77th of his career and broke the school record previously held by Nate Schmitt.

“My first reaction was just a sigh of relief,” Smith said. “I put a lot of pressure on myself, so it was nice to accomplish that goal, which I’ve had for a while.

R-P senior Liam Smith

“I was super happy and thankful to all my teammates who helped me get to the goal record.”

Smith came out of the game after the record-setting goal, an announcement was made about his accomplishment, and he was greeted with a standing ovation from the crowd.

He returned the sentiment, applauding the R-P fans who have supported him and his teammates throughout his varsity career.

“Some of those people have watched me grow up, and I have a huge amount of respect for each and every one of them,” Smith said. “Fans are a huge part of this sport, so any thanks I can give to them I will.”

Reeths-Puffer head coach Kody Harrell has watched Smith develop his talents for the past four years and was thrilled to see him reach the top of the school’s scoring chart.

Smith his greeted by R-P Coach Kody Harrell after scoring his record goal. Photo/Joe Lane

“I’m just happy for him,” said Harrell, whose first season as head coach was also Smith’s freshman season. “I’ve been seeing him at youth camps since he was 10 or 11, and we got into this at the same time. It’s been a happy ride and it was a special moment.”

Harrell admitted that he never would have guessed, when Smith was a freshman, that he would have a shot at the career record.

“The only reason I didn’t expect it is because he only scored six goals as a freshman,” the coach said. “I didn’t see it coming. But after his sophomore season, when he scored 28 goals, I figured he might be able to do something here.”

Smith’s four goals brought him to 16 on the season with 12 regular season games to go, which means he has a chance to also break the team’s single-season goal record of 31, which was also set by Schmitt.

He is also very close to setting the school’s career assist record.

Smith with his parents, Nate and Michelle Smith. Photo/Joe Lane

The Rockets were completely dominant in the game, closing it out via the eight-goal mercy rule just a few minutes into the second half.

Smith opened the scoring with a goal less than a minute into the game. Aiden McCollum scored the second R-P goal, followed by Smith, Nick Clemens, two more from Smith, and TJ Boone.

Carson Cooper ended the game with a goal about two minutes into the second half.

McCollum had two assists for the Rockets while Smith, Clemens, Kyler Brainard and JT Fansler each had one.

Reeths-Puffer has now won seven games in a row. The Rockets are 8-1 overall and 3-0 in conference play.