WALL TWP. - Few teams rely on a single player the way the Monmouth Regional boys soccer team has relied on senior Joel Burgos this season.

When the Falcons entered this week with Burgos sidelined due to injury and a win shy of qualifying the Shore Conference Tournament, it seemed like clinching a spot in the conference postseason would have to wait until he returned.

Instead, after losing to Ocean on Monday, Monmouth responded by beating Wall Wednesday, 1-0, while Burgos sat out for the second straight game. The win was the second of the season for the Falcons over the Crimson Knights and it secures them a spot in Shore Conference Tournament.

Photo by Paula Lopez
Photo by Paula Lopez

Brian Waltsak jumpstarted Monmouth (8-5, 6-4) in the eighth minute by drawing a red card takedown in the box he then stepped up and drilled the penalty kick that followed, which staked the Falcons to a one-goal lead and a man advantage the rest of the way. Wall (6-6, 5-5) goalkeeper Brandon Embon took down Waltsak after Waltsak got behind him with a clear look at the goal.

Waltsak has been the complementary scorer to Burgos during the course of the season and transitioned to the lead role on Wednesday. The Falcons failed to score in a 2-0 loss to Ocean on Monday, which is just the second time they have failed to score in a game this season.

In the 11 games he has played this year, Burgos has scored a Shore-Conference-leading 22 goals.