ROCHELLE — Lady Hub senior Sarah Craven scored in the 44th minute to give the Rochelle varsity girls soccer team an excellent opportunity to end its nine-game winless streak when the Lady Hubs hosted Ottawa on Saturday.
Craven’s unassisted goal tied the game 3-3 and brought Rochelle back from a two-goal deficit. But the Pirates responded quickly, scoring in the 48th minute and ending the game on a 4-1 run to defeat the Lady Hubs by a score of 7-4 and drop Rochelle to 2-10-2 on the season. Junior Viviana Belmonte totaled nine saves for the Lady Hubs.
“We were missing a few players and we were getting players into positions they may not have been used to playing,” head coach Brad Male said. “I thought the girls did an excellent job over the first 45 minutes, but once they got up one goal on us, we lost the momentum and the game began playing into their favor.”
Both teams went scoreless for over 10 minutes to start the game before Ottawa went ahead 1-0 with a goal in the 12th minute. Rochelle fell behind 2-0 in the 24th minute before senior Olivia Piloni scored the first of her two goals on an assist by freshman Lucy Monroy to make it a 2-1 game in the 28th minute. The Pirates retained their two-goal lead with one in the 31st minute.
Sophomore Vianey Perusquia assisted Piloni’s second goal of the game in the 34th minute before Craven tied the game in the second half. Ottawa then went on a fast 3-0 spurt that included goals in the 48th, 54th and 57th minutes. Trailing 6-3, Perusquia found the net in the 68th minute to give the Lady Hubs one final chance to rally. But the Pirates scoring in the final minute to seal the win.
“It’s huge when we can get multiple girls into the goal so we don’t have to always look for the same players,” Male said. “Teams will mark up our best goal scorer, so having other girls step up and score is a big asset to our team and a morale booster for the girls. They know they’ll have opportunities to score.”