ROCHELLE — On a Saturday morning when the Hub varsity soccer team celebrated Senior Day, Rochelle’s senior leaders stepped up with a tremendous performance against the Sandwich Indians, working together to bring home the team’s most lopsided victory of the season.
With the Interstate 8 Conference tournament on the horizon, seniors Josh Hurtado, Zane Walters and Juan Cincire each scored two goals as the Hubs took down the Indians 8-0. Rochelle recognized its senior players including Hurtado, Walters, Cincire, Reese Kirk, Johan Fulgencio and Matayo Rodriguez. Not present were Damian Salinas and Brayan Orozco.
“It felt great to win our last home game,” Hurtado said. “We wanted to go out with a blast, but we need to stay focused because we have our tournament coming up. Our communication was the key today and it has to be our key because we’ve been struggling with that during some of our past games. We really executed well today and we want to finish our season strong.”
Rochelle broke a scoreless tie with two consecutive goals in the 12th and 13th minutes. Cincire struck first for the Hubs, cashing in an assist from freshman Eli Luxton before Walters followed with a goal on Cincire’s assist to give Rochelle a 2-0 advantage. The Indians struggled to control the midfield, where Rochelle’s seniors shined in addition to the freshman Luxton, who scored an unassisted goal on a right-footed boot in the 30th minute for his first of the season.
Leading 3-0, Rochelle broke through the Sandwich defensive line once again in the 35th minute, with Luxton converting an assist from Walters before the senior midfielder found Cincire for another Hub goal in the 38th minute. With the first half nearly a close, Walters took it upon himself to extend the Rochelle lead, banging through an unassisted goal in the 39th minute.
“We need to stay locked in and continue putting in the effort,” said Hurtado, who scored two second-half goals in the 52nd and 55th minutes. “We’re really looking forward to the tournament and I know we can make a run if we continue working hard and playing together.”
Sophomore Jace Whitehead and Cincire assisted the two second-half goals for the Hubs (3-4-1), who will face Oregon on the road Saturday, April 10 at 10 a.m. in nonconference play.