Blue Ridge Soccer Ends Season in Warrensburg-Latham Sectional Semifinal, Loses to Monmouth-Roseville 5-3

Updated October 26 at 2:38 p.m. 

WARRENSBURG, Ill. -- Ian Riggs scored two second-half goals for the Knights.

But was too little, too late, as the Titans scored the first two goals and led 4-1 en route to beating Blue Ridge 5-3 in the Warrensburg-Latham Sectional semifinals.

Gerardo Ayala started the scoring for Monmouth-Roseville 6:01 into the match. Then Jairo Ojeda kicked a shot in the middle of traffic that found the net on the right side.

Ojeda's goal, scored with 29:10 left in the first half, gave the Titans a 2-0 lead.

J.J. Malone helped Blue Ridge get on the scoreboard by receiving a pass from Conner Builta and maneuvering past David Flores to set himself up for a shot on the left side of the net.

The shot was thwarted by a diving save from Rodrigo Zamora. However, Builta (pictured above) rebounded the shot and put the ball in the net on the right side.

With that goal, Builta cut the Knights' deficit to 2-1 with 14 minutes left in the first half.

Malone (pictured below), who broke the IHSA record for most goals scored in a career last Saturday, was surprisingly held goalless throughout the match.

With less than 10 seconds left in the first half, Matt Perry took a shot that almost gave Monmouth-Roseville a 3-1 halftime lead.

However, Josh Plunk (pictured below) dived to his right side to make the save. Plunk's save, one of 15 he made on Tuesday, it seemed Blue Ridge had some momentum heading into the second half.

But whatever momentum the Knights had would quickly vanish, as Ojeda scored 16 seconds into the second half to give Monmouth-Roseville a 3-1 lead.

Ayala added another insurance goal for the Titans to give his team a 4-1 lead with 18:31 left in regulation.

Then Riggs (pictured below) scored the first of his two goals via free kick with 14:05 left. His second goal, on which he got a toehold on a lob pass with 5:44 left to play, cut Blue Ridge's deficit to 5-3.

Monmouth-Roseville got its fifth goal with 13:02 left, when Ojeda completed the hat trick with a shot to the right side of the net.

Jon Jones had Blue Ridge's only assist of the match.

With the loss, Blue Ridge ends its season with a record of 19-3-3 and the only regional title in school history.

Malone was nominated as a member of the All-State team by the Illinois Coaches Association. Builta was named to the All-Sectional team and Plunk was given an Honorable Mention.

For the record...

Malone is not the all-time state record holder for most goals scored in a career.

That record belongs to Crete-Monee's Carlos Posada. According to the LeRoy Farmer City Press, Posada had 164 goals as of October 21, two more than Malone scored in his career.

Crete-Monee is still in the postseason, which means Posada could add more goals to his record-holding total. His team is completing a suspended match against Midlothian Bremen in the Lemont Sectional semifinals with a 2-0 lead.

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