Rochelle senior Olivia Piloni has earned the respect of her teammates and coaches by means of her leadership and steady play on the field.
Piloni has picked up where she left off last season, totaling one goal and two assists through three games this spring. When the senior forward’s final season with the Lady Hubs concludes, she’ll be taking her talents to The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point next year. Piloni said she plans to study interior design and architecture while playing for the Pointers.
“It was close enough to home, but I was also able to get a feel for a different area,” Piloni said. “I met most of the players on the team through a couple of camps I attended, and my club coach is really close with team and I really like that. I really appreciate the opportunity to continue playing the game.”
Piloni brought home First-Team All-Conference honors her junior season, recording a team-best six goals and adding two assists while leading Rochelle with 27 shots and 22 shots on goal. Piloni has been a team captain for three years, spending time on defense, in the midfield and at forward.
“I definitely lean more toward the defensive side of the game, and holding center mid is my favorite spot,” Piloni said. “I plan to work on my technical skills, my speed and the quickness of getting the ball off my foot accurately. Playing at RTHS has given me a leadership role that I hadn’t been exposed to before, and it’s definitely taken me out of my comfort zone, but it’s taught me so much and it’s helped me talk more when I’m on the field.”
Piloni played under former head coach Chris Blevins for two seasons before falling under the tutelage of current head coach Brad Male this season. Male, who worked as an assistant for Blevins before becoming the head coach this year, said Piloni has both the leadership skill and the physical abilities to be successful at the next level.
“I think Olivia has really grown into an exceptional player over the years,” Male said. “She controls the game, and I think the key aspect of her game is that she always controls the ball. She just needs to continue on the path she’s headed, and if she keeps communicating with her teammates, she’ll do extremely well in college.”