ROCHELLE — Not much has stopped the Rochelle varsity boys soccer team from lighting up the scoreboard this season, and the Hubs set a new season-best goal count for one game when Rochelle hosted LaSalle-Peru for conference play on Thursday.
Behind four goals from senior Jessee Infante, the Hubs dismantled LaSalle-Peru by a score of 9-1 to improve to 14-0-1 on the season and 5-0-1 in conference competition. Six different players scored at least one goal for Rochelle, which will travel to Geneseo on Tuesday, Oct. 9 for a game which will likely decide the Northern Illinois Big 12 West. The Hubs and Maple Leafs tied 2-2 earlier this season, Rochelle’s only non-victory.
“We’re all communicating a lot better and we’re playing as a team a lot more,” senior Juan Montemayor said. “We’re trying to score the first goal every game… We’re going to give it all we have on Tuesday. We know Geneseo is a tough team so we’re just going to give it our all.”
Junior Max Torres crossed to sophomore Brayan Orozco for Rochelle’s first goal in the third minute. Sophomore Zane Walters was active throughout the first half, scoring on a deflected ball in the 19th minute before assisting two Infante goals in the 34th and 37th minutes to put the Hubs ahead 4-0. Freshman Josue Orozco blasted an unassisted goal from outside the LaSalle-Peru penalty box in the 39th minute for Rochelle’s fifth goal.
“We all work together really well,” sophomore Josh Hurtado said. “We’re all good friends on and off the field. We have good chemistry and we’re all really talented. We have a lot of individual skill and we work really hard in practice. It’s all about hard work.”
The Cavaliers avoided the shutout by scoring early in the second half, taking advantage of a rare lapse by the Rochelle defense in the 45th minute. The Hubs immediately put the game out of reach, though, with Brayan Orozco assisting Infante’s third goal in the 49th minute and Torres scoring another goal in the 53rd minute. Leading 7-1, the Hubs tied their season-high for goals in one game with Infante’s fourth goal in the 54th minute.
Freshman Ethan Tooley took the ball on a breakaway late in the second half, scoring in the 68th minute to help Rochelle set its new season-best goal count for one game. While the Cavaliers weren’t shut out, Thursday was the 13th time this season Rochelle has held an opponent to one goal or less.
Senior goalie Mason DeLille, who had eight saves in the game, has only allowed nine goals all season.
“We’re playing a diamond formation and I think that’s something we’re comfortable with,” Montemayor said. “We’ve been using it for years and we’ve gotten it down. We have quality players too.”
Tuesday’s conference game at Geneseo will kick off at 6 p.m.