ROCHELLE — The Rochelle Lady Hub varsity soccer team took the field for the first time in nearly two years on Wednesday, facing off against Streator in the summer season opener.
While the Lady Hubs fell behind early in the match, Rochelle showed plenty of promise, avoiding a shutout with a penalty-kick goal while holding the Bulldogs scoreless in the second half. The Lady Hubs finished strong, but the early hole was too deep to escape, with Streator defeated Rochelle 3-1. The Lady Hubs (0-1) face Kaneland on the road Wednesday, April 28.
“I was pleased with how we moved the ball and how we communicated on the field,” head coach Brad Male said. “We have some work to do in a few areas and we were shuffling some players around to see what our options are as far as our movement on the field.”
With starting center back Lizbeth Milan missing on the back line, Rochelle struggled to stay in front of the Bulldogs early in the match. Streator capitalized on two breakaways down the far sideline in the first half, scoring in the sixth minute to take a 1-0 lead before adding another unassisted goal in the 13th minute. Trailing 2-0, Rochelle saw its first chance to score in the 25th minute, when a Bulldog defender committed a hand-ball violation inside the Streator box.
Senior Vianey Perusquia stepped up for the Lady Hubs, smashing the penalty-kick ball into the right corner of the Bulldog net to put Rochelle on the scoreboard. Streator quickly quashed the Lady Hub momentum, however, using another breakaway through ball in the 29th minute to score and give the Bulldogs a two-goal cushion. Neither team scored in the second half.
“I thought we had some first-match nerves and we had some miscommunication where we weren’t covering for each other in the back,” Male said. “I was pleased with how we played in the second half. I thought we showed better communication and I thought we had better ball movement. We need to stay close together so we can capitalize on our ball movement.”