ROCHELLE — Senior Night was a fight to the finish for the Lady Hub varsity soccer team Friday evening, when Rochelle hosted Stillman Valley for its final home match of the summer season.
Looking to send their three seniors off with one last home win, the Lady Hubs battled in a back-and-forth matchup against the Cardinals, who scored first before Rochelle answered early in the second half. Despite both teams finding several shots on goal over the final minutes, the match ultimately ended in a 1-1 draw, with the Lady Hubs moving to 1-9-1 on the season.
“I thought we were pretty evenly matched,” head coach Brad Male said. “We had some players missing because of injuries, but we played a hard-fought match. I was very pleased with how we played and we had a lot of matches earlier in the week, so it was nice to come away with at least a tie… We’re a much-improved team from where we were at the start of the season.”
Seniors Ayah Sbeih, Vianey Perusquia and Nadia Castillo were each recognized with gifts and flowers after the match Friday evening. Stillman Valley earned the early advantage in the first half, breaking through the Lady Hub defensive line and scoring in the 24th minute to lead 1-0. Both teams had quality looks at the net, with sophomore midfielder Kyra Rimstidt and junior midfielder Madison Ost each sending two shots just outside or over the Cardinal goalposts.
The Lady Hubs eventually broke through in the 54th minute, when freshman forward Kara Martinez beat a Stillman Valley defender on the left side of the Cardinal box before rolling the ball into the back of the Stillman Valley net to even the match. As the second half progressed, Stillman Valley nearly scored on a breakaway down the right side of the field, but the shot sailed wide right of the Rochelle net. Likewise, Sbeih almost converted a shot from the forward position, finding a clean look but sending the ball up and away from the Cardinal crossbar.
“It’s unfortunate that our seniors lost their junior seasons because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but they’ve been with the program for three years and I’m going to miss them all,” Male said.
The Rochelle Lady Hub varsity soccer team battled against Plano on the road Wednesday evening, falling 3-1 and dropping to 1-9 on the season. Sophomore Kyra Rimstidt scored the lone Rochelle goal, while freshman Danica Ward recorded four saves in the match. Rochelle will celebrate Senior Night with a home match against Stillman Valley on Friday.
The Lady Hubs controlled the ball for most of the match, outshooting Plano 33-14 and outpacing the Reapers 11-7 in shots on goal. Plano took a 1-0 lead with a goal in the 20th minute before Rimstidt equalized the match with her goal in the 40th minute. With the match tied 1-1 at halftime, Plano went in front with a goal in the 49th minute. The Reapers sealed their Interstate 8 Conference victory over Rochelle with one final goal in the 77th minute.
The Rochelle Lady Hub varsity soccer team hosted Morris on Tuesday, competing through tough weather conditions but losing 5-0 to fall to 1-8 on the season. The Redskins outshot Rochelle 25-6 and held a 12-1 edge over the Lady Hubs in shots on goal. Danica Ward had seven saves for the Lady Hubs, who conceded seven corner kicks to the Redskins in the loss.
Morris emerged with an early 3-0 lead after goals in the eighth, 15th and 16th minutes. The Redskins added their fourth goal right before halftime, scoring in the 40th minute before icing the Interstate 8 Conference win with a goal in the 53rd minute.