ROCHELLE — The Rochelle varsity boys soccer team entered Thursday’s game against Yorkville having surrendered only five goals this season. That number didn’t move anywhere, as the Hubs blanked the Foxes by a score of 5-0 to record their seventh shutout of the season and stay unbeaten.
Senior Jessee Infante put the Hubs ahead 1-0 in the sixth minute off a deflected shot on goal by senior Adolfo Flores. Infante put a hard shot on goal in the 26th minute, with sophomore Brayan Orozco rushing the penalty box and scoring to give Rochelle a 2-0 advantage. Yorkville applied some pressure late in the first half, but the Rochelle defense was unbothered, clearing every ball the Foxes sent into the penalty area.
“They were cramming the middle of the field and they were always passing the ball there,” senior Ruben Herrera said. “Whoever was our last man would never let them touch the ball. We were being aggressive and they weren’t able to get past us. They didn’t get very many shots on goal.”
Orozco assisted Infante’s second goal of the game in the 32nd to give the Hubs a 3-0 lead at halftime. Both teams went roughly 20 minutes without scoring until Yorkville fouled Rochelle sophomore Zane Walters inside its own penalty area. Infante lined up for the penalty kick, and the senior booted the ball into the left side of the Yorkville goal to put the Hubs up 4-0 in the 53rd minute.
Playing against the wind, the Foxes played tough and managed to put a few shots on goal during the second half. But Rochelle senior goalie Mason DeLille was up to task, adding a couple of key saves to preserve the shutout. DeLille finished with seven saves in the win, and he said his defensive line has helped made his job easier in front of the net.
“It’s been wonderful because I don’t have to worry about the ball coming to me as much,” DeLille said. “Our offense does a great job scoring goals early and giving us momentum, and our defense does a great job keeping the ball away from me. I just keep trying to talk to my defenders and make sure they know where the opposing players are at.”
Senior defender Josue Almaraz headed in his second goal of the season off Infante’s corner kick in the 67th minute. The Hubs have outscored their opponents 17-1 over their last three games since drawing Geneseo this past Thursday. Rochelle (10-0-1, 3-0-1 NIB-12 West) will aim to extend its unbeaten streak to 12 games when the Hubs host Hinckley-Big Rock this weekend.
“We know this is our last year together so we’re going all out,” Herrera said. “We’re pressuring the ball as much as we can… Being a part of this group has been amazing. These guys are like my family and there’s no other team like this one.”