Girls Soccer: Lady Hubs working to build chemistry

Three seniors graduating from 2021 roster

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ROCHELLE — A winless start to the 2021 season didn’t prevent the Rochelle Lady Hub varsity soccer team from coming together and scoring two victories near the end of the season. With only three seniors graduating from this year’s roster, head coach Brad Male and the Lady Hubs will look to turn their fortunes around and bounce back with a better season next year.

Rochelle finished 2-11-1 this season, recording wins against Oregon and Plano while drawing Stillman Valley in nonconference play. The Lady Hubs scored 10 goals this season, with four goals coming from freshman Kara Martinez and three from sophomore Kyra Rimstidt. Junior Lizbeth Milan, sophomore Jasmin Hernandez and senior Vianey Perusquia each added one goal.

“We have a lot of talented girls, but we unfortunately lost a year of development because of COVID-19 and they didn’t have that chemistry at the start of the season,” Male said. “They really came together toward the end of the season and I think we need to improve on that and continue building on the camaraderie they started to show at the end of the season.”

The Lady Hubs will lose one senior from each level including All-Conference First Team forward Ayah Sbeih, Perusquia (midfield) and Nadia Castillo (defense). Rochelle will have several defenders eligible to return including freshman Danica Ward, who totaled 114 saves this season. All-Conference First-Team defender Milan and All-Conference Honorable Mention Lucy Monroy are both eligible to return and anchor the Lady Hub defense next season.

“Our team chemistry really came around toward the end of the season,” Male said. “We continued to move the ball around and I hope we can keep building on that. We moved a lot of players around and put them in positions they weren’t used to, but they adjusted well. I think our versatility, rather than sticking to just one position, will be a key for us next season.”

Several juniors could return to the Lady Hubs next season including defenders Ceci Vargas and Michelle Ocampo as well as midfielders Madison Ost and Gracie Kelchner. Sophomores Rimstidt, Kailey Harris and Abigail Tarvestad all showed promise in the midfield, while Martinez will headline Rochelle’s eligible returning players at the forward position.

“I think Lizbeth will have a big role on our team next year,” Male said. “We had a lot of young players who showed what their abilities are and I look forward to seeing them grow.”