Rochelle senior Viviana Belmonte was nervous about trying out for the Lady Hub soccer program two years ago. Fast forward to this winter, and Belmonte will not only be gearing up for her third season with the varsity team, but she’ll be continuing both her athletic and her academic careers after graduating high school in the spring.
Belmonte signed her National Letter of Intent to play soccer with the Kishwaukee College Lady Kougars earlier this week. The senior goalkeeper has started for the Lady Hubs in each of her last two seasons, recording 212 saves her sophomore year and 205 saves her junior year. Belmonte set both season and career-highs in saves with 29 against Yorkville this past season.
“Kishwaukee College is much closer to home for me, and I thought it would be nice to stay close to home,” Belmonte said. “Their program was one of the first to reach out to me. I want to get better, and soccer is one of my favorite sports, so having the opportunity to play in college means a lot to me. I want to see how far I can go with the sport.”
Belmonte will be the second Rochelle player to suit up for the Kishwaukee College women’s soccer program in the last three years, following former Lady Hub student-athlete Ashley Kerns. Both the Kougars and Lady Kougars have infused their rosters with Rochelle blood in recent seasons, as four Rochelle graduates (Jessee Infante, Ruben Herrera, Josue Almaraz and Juan Montemayor) took the field for Kishwaukee College during the 2019-20 campaign. Belmonte said she plans to study esthetics while playing soccer for the Lady Kougars.
“When I tried out for the soccer team my sophomore year, I had never played keeper before,” Belmonte said. “My coach believed in me and I ended up loving the position. I used to be really scared, but now I don’t think about it a lot. I just go out there and play… I loved to do make-up when I was younger, and when I found out we had an esthetics program at the high school, I took the course my junior year, and I realized this year that esthetics is what I want to go into.”