LASALLE — Looking to break a scoreless tie during the second half of the Hub varsity soccer match against LaSalle-Peru on Wednesday, Rochelle senior Juan Cincire settled the ball outside the front of the Cavalier box and searched for an open teammate to score the first goal.
That teammate was senior midfielder Zane Walters, who handled Cincire’s pass inside the LaSalle-Peru box and booted a right-footed shot into the back of the net during the 52nd minute. The lone score was all Rochelle needed to win the match, defeating the Cavaliers 1-0 for the team’s first win of the season. The Hubs (1-2-1) will face Sycamore on the road Monday.
“We’re hoping that it’s the first of many wins for us,” Walters said. “We found a nice patch of the field to settle the ball on and they were slow defensively. I was able to make a touch around the defenders and the keeper was in no man’s land. We have most of our starters out at the moment and we miss them a lot. I think we can win the conference with everyone back.”
Rochelle faced both LaSalle-Peru and the wind during the first half, but the Hub defense held strong behind a solid effort from junior captain Bryce Whitehead, who led Rochelle to its second shutout of the season after two tough matches against DeKalb and Kaneland. Sophomore Diego Cincire filled in for starting keeper Jarett Milan and earned his first shutout.
“Our communication was key today and we always want to make sure we’re the first to every ball,” Whitehead said. “The wind didn’t help us in the first half but we did our best to keep our shape. I think there are a lot of positives we can take from each of our games this season.”
With the wind in the second half, Rochelle had multiple cracks at the LaSalle-Peru net before Cincire and Walters connected for the first goal of the match. The Cavaliers had possession over the final minute of regulation, but the Hubs cleared several shots away from the team’s box.