Record-Tying Goal Scorer J.J. Malone Leads Blue Ridge to 6-0 Monticello Regional Semifinal Win over Heyworth

MONTICELLO, Ill. -- By scoring five goals against the Hornets, J.J. Malone increased his goal total to 159 for his career.

Malone is now tied in the Illinois state record books for the most goals scored in a career. He shares the record with Billy Savarino, who scored 159 goals for Chicago Brother Rice from 1990-93.

"It's definitely a big deal," Blue Ridge coach Marty Price said. "Hopefully, he can get another goal before the season's over, and he'll own the state record instead of being tied for it."


However, Malone (pictured above) said another goal ranks higher on his mind.

"[The record] feels pretty good, but I'm just more worried about our championship game at regionals here," Malone said.

With his five goals, including four in the second half, Malone gave his Blue Ridge team a chance at winning the Monticello Regional. The Knights scored five goals in the second half to blow past the semifinal match against Heyworth.

"They played really good," Price said. "We had a slow first half, but in the second half, they played like they normally do. I'm pleased with the team. We're going into Saturday now. We'll be ready."

Malone put Blue Ridge ahead in the first half with 11:29 left in the first half. He maneuvered past multiple Hornet defenders on the right side of the net and kicked in the goal from the middle past Heyworth goalkeeper Wesley Anderson.

The goal was assisted by Ian Riggs (pictured above) and came after multiple chances put onto the net. In the game's first eight minutes, Malone took a shot that was saved by Anderson and another that was blocked by Neil Duffy.

Conner Builta (No. 11, pictured below) set up Malone with a mid-air pass. But with more than 22 minutes left in the first half, Anderson made the save on a dive toward the left side of the net.

Anderson finished the match with 21 saves.

In the second half, Malone took a diagonal shot from the left side of the net for his second goal of the match with 29:29 left. Jon Jones (No. 15, pictured above) recorded the assist.

With 26:56, Coale Dolbert (pictured below) got Blue Ridge's only non-Malone goal of the match, taking a shot from the middle that went in the net on the upper-left side. Malone was credited with the assist.

Malone's next goal, however, was unassisted. With 10:32 left, Malone rebounded a shot by Jones that hit the left goalpost and put the ball into the net on the right side.

With 7:00 left, Builta assisted Malone on his fourth goal of the match.

At the 3:57 mark, Riggs recorded his second assist of the match to help Malone put the icing on the cake.

The Knights finished the game out-shooting Heyworth 42-4. Josh Plunk (pictured below) had three saves to preserve the shutout.

With the win, Blue Ridge improves to a record of 18-2-3. The Knights will play in the Monticello Regional on Saturday.

They will play against the winner of Wednesday's semifinal match between Monticello and Olympia, which will kick off at 4:30 p.m.

"Hopefully, we can come out and get business done on Saturday," Price said.

"Monticello's a good team," Malone said. "I'd say it's 50/50; whoever play better that day, it's all theirs."

Side Note...

Malone's 61 goals this season rank fourth on the IHSA record books for most goals scored in a season.

He is only one goal shy of third place, which is held by Kevin Schmidt. Schmidt scored 62 goals for Hinckley-Big Rock in 1980.

Robert Meschback holds record, scoring 71 goals for Chicago Gordon Tech in 1976. Jose Esparaza (Blue Island Eisenhower, 1992) is second in the record books with 65 goals. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.