HINCKLEY — Twelve goals weren’t enough to determine a winner when the Rochelle varsity girls soccer team battled Hinckley-Big Rock on the road Wednesday evening.
While the Royals held a slight 21-19 edge over the Lady Hubs in shots on goal, the purple and white struck first and dominated the first half. Behind three goals from senior Olivia Piloni, Rochelle held a 6-1 lead in the second half before surrendering five unanswered Hinckley-Big Rock goals to end in a 6-6 draw. The Lady Hubs are now 2-9-2 overall.
“We started off getting on the board early and I thought we played exceptionally well during the first half,” head coach Brad Male said. “We were looking for each other offensively and we were creating opportunities to score. Olivia’s very aggressive and she’s been the key for us.”
The Lady Hubs cruised through the early minutes, with Piloni cashing in on an assist from freshman Madison Ost in the fourth minute to give Rochelle a 1-0 lead. Sophomore Vianey Perusquia scored on a Piloni assist in the 11th minute, and Piloni gave the Lady Hubs a 3-0 advantage on senior Sarah Craven’s assist in the 26th minute.
Craven started Rochelle on the right foot in the second half with her first goal of the game on an assist from Perusquia. The Royals scored soon after to avoid the shutout, and the Lady Hubs immediately followed by taking a 6-1 lead with goals from Piloni and Craven on two assists by sophomore Ayah Sbeih.
But the Lady Hubs couldn’t hold their five-goal lead for long, as Hinckley-Big Rock began chipping away with goals in the 43rd, 63rd and 73rd minutes. Trailing 6-4, the Royals notched two goals in the 76th and 80th minutes to survive and escape their home field with a draw.
“We had a few miscommunications that allowed them to come back against us,” Male said. “We need to keep working with each other and communicating better defensively… When they get balls through, we need to have a little more urgency to get back and clear the ball so we don’t continue putting pressure on Viviana.”