OTTAWA — Rochelle head coach Brad Male was pleased with the bounce-back effort from the Lady Hubs when the varsity girls soccer team continued conference play on the road against Ottawa on Monday.
Just a few days removed from a tough 9-0 loss against Geneseo, the Lady Hubs toughened up on defense against Ottawa, with junior Viviana Belmonte totaling 12 saves to lead Rochelle on the back side. Senior Olivia Piloni recorded Rochelle’s first conference goal of the season late in the second half, but it wouldn’t be enough, as the Pirates defeated the Lady Hubs 3-1 to drop Rochelle to 2-4 overall.
“I thought Viviana had some excellent saves and I don’t think the girls ever got discouraged,” Male said. “They continued to play even when they were down, and that’s what I continue to discuss with them. Regardless of what happens during the game, we have to continue playing our game.”
The Pirates took the lead 1-0 after scoring in the eighth minute, and Ottawa jumped ahead 2-0 with its second goal in the 21st minute. Rochelle then held the Pirates scoreless for over 40 minutes before Ottawa found the back of the net in the 62nd minute. Trailing 3-0, the Lady Hubs avoided the shutout with Piloni’s unassisted goal in the final seconds of the game. Rochelle went 5-for-9 in shots on goal Monday, with Ottawa finishing 16-for-23 in that category.
“I thought we came out very strong and we played very well over the first 10 minutes even though we weren’t able to score right off the bat,” Male said. “We had a little setback once Ottawa scored, and I thought we continued to play but some of the calls didn’t go our way.”