ROCHELLE — Missing multiple leaders on offense and defense, the Rochelle Hub varsity soccer team struggled to stay with the Kaneland Knights during conference play Monday evening.
Only a few days removed from shutting out Morris on the road, Rochelle returned home looking for its first victory of the season. But a multitude of issues plagued the Hubs in their home opener, with Kaneland dominating on both ends to defeat Rochelle 9-1 and extend the Hub winless streak to three matches. Rochelle (0-2-1) will face LaSalle-Peru on Wednesday.
“I thought we passed the ball well in the first half,” head coach Brad Male said. “We couldn’t capitalize on the few opportunities we had and they had a few through balls that they were able to capitalize on. I thought our lack of conditioning showed toward the end of the match.”
The Hubs battled over the first 30 minutes of the match, remaining even with the Knights despite conceding the first goal in the third minute. Rochelle equalized the match in the 25th minute, when freshman Diego Salazar booted a free kick toward senior Zane Walters, who finessed his way around a Kaneland defender and shot into the left corner of the Knight net.
Kaneland took a 2-1 lead in the 27th minute, capitalizing on a free kick before taking advantage of another Rochelle defensive breakdown in the 38th minute. Leading 3-1 at halftime, Kaneland utilized a through ball and a deflection to score goals in the 53rd and 68th minutes. The Hub defense had no answers over the final 12 minutes of action, allowing four unanswered goals.
“We didn’t have the depth on the bench that we needed,” Male said. “I’m pleased with some of the progress we’re making, but it’s going to take a lot more in terms of our communication.”
Rochelle faced Morris on the road Friday evening, drawing the Redskins 0-0 for the team’s first non-loss of the season. The Hubs outshot Morris 19-13 and totaled more shots on goal, leading the Redskins 15-8 in that department. Sophomore Diego Cincire recorded eight saves in net.