Ortega and Rivera Score Twice as Regents Maul Red Lions

Erys Rivera
Erys Rivera

LINCOLN, Ill. - The Rockford University women's soccer team (7-11) concluded its best season in 15 years on Wednesday afternoon with an impressive 7-3 drubbing of Lincoln Christian University (1-12). Rockford outshot Lincoln Christian 40-9 including a decisive 22-7 advantage in shots on goal. However the match was close at the half as Rockford entered the intermission trailing 2-1. Fortunately the Regent offense exploded in the second half, scoring 6 goals en route to the victory.

Despite winning the match with ease, Rockford did trail for the majority of the first half. Lincoln Christian broke the scoreless tie early on in the match with a goal less than five minutes in to grab a quick 1-0 lead. The score would remain unchanged until the 31st minute when senior Giovana Ortega (Rockford, Ill.) found the back of the net to knot the match at 1-1. Unfortunately the Red Lions responded with a goal of their own less than six minutes later to retake the lead and enter the half with a 2-1 advantage.

However the second half was dominated by the Regents, as Rockford outscored Lincoln Christian 6-1 including scoring three straight goals in under an 11-minute span twice. The Regents first flurry of goals came early on in the period when Rockford scored three times between the 51st and 62nd minute. Erys Rivera (Belvidere, Ill.) struck first with her fifth goal of the season off an assist from Lesly Herrera (Rockford, Ill.) to tie the match. Moments later, Rivera scored her second goal of the afternoon, off an assist by Lexie Collins (Earlville, Ill.), to give Rockford its first lead of the day. Shortly thereafter, Collins found the back of the net for her team-leading ninth goal and fifth game-winning goal of the season to give the Regents a 4-2 advantage.

After Lincoln Christian made it 4-3 in the 65th minute, Rockford put the game away late a trio of goals in under a ten-minute span. Freshman Vivian Knapp (Rockford, Ill.) began the RU scoring spree with her first collegiate goal off an assist from Ali Jaeger (Jefferson, Wis.). Senior Giovana Ortega was involved in each of the final two goals, scoring the first off an assist from Lexie Collins, and then was credited with an assist on a goal in the 90th minute by Allyssa Hobbs (Sterling, Ill.)

The RU women's soccer team finished its 2017 season on a very strong note. The Regents won three of their final five matches including ending the year on a two-match winning streak. Rockford's seven victories were the most in a single-season since 2002 and its two wins over NACC opponents were the most since the 2008 season.