DIXON – The Dukes made the most of free kicks and corner kicks in a 4-1 nonconference win over Rochelle on Tuesday at A.C. Bowers Field.
Dixon’s last three goals all came off of set pieces, with James Duet and Kade Fulton both scoring off first-half corners, and Bradyn Langloss adding a goal off a free kick in the 50th minute.
Dixon (13-4-2) had an 8-4 edge in corner kicks, and while Dixon scored two of its goals off corners, Rochelle had all of one shot off of a corner kick, that one a long-range chance by Josh Hurtado in the 67th minute directly into the arms of Dixon goalkeeper Ryan Pitzer.
Duet’s goal in the 16th minute came off a corner kick, with a mad scramble for the ball in front of the net.
“The goalie tried hitting it out and it hit off the back of the defender,” Duet said. “I just kicked it in because it was just in front of me.”
Fulton added a 30th-minute goal off a corner kick.
“When Boston [Glessner] played it in, they were knocking it around and it ended up in front of me,” Fulton said. “They tried to clear it out, so I stepped in front of it so they couldn’t get a clear ball out, and once I stepped in front of it, it landed back in front of me and I tapped it in.”
Fulton had gotten Dixon on the board just 43 seconds into the game. With Rochelle’s backline playing high, Fulton was able to race around Rochelle right back Gyvanziel Quinonez and fire a left-footed shot in past the keeper.
“At first I saw James making a good run, so I tried to hit him,” Fulton said. “I mis-touched it. The defender was going for it, but I knew I could beat him, so I just went around, fought for the ball and got the goal.”
Rochelle (12-7) answered moments later, as Lazaro Gutierrez came up with a fifth-minute equalizer.
“[Dixon] came out a little more intense than we did, and I think it caught us a little off guard,” Rochelle coach Brad Male said. “We were able to counter, but our intensity was not there the first half of the game.”
After scoring three times in the first half, Dixon added one more in the second half. Taking a free kick near midfield in the 50th minute, Griffey Rodriguez sent a long pass up to Fulton in the 18-yard box. When the Hubs defense collapsed on Fulton, he tapped the ball back to Langloss, and Langloss fired it in.
“They were right on my back and he had no one around him,” Fulton said.
But that was Dixon’s only goal on the second half, and one of the Dukes’ few quality scoring chances, as the Hubs were able to control more of the possession.
“We picked up our communication in the backfield looking to recover a bit better,” Male said.
Rochelle had a handful of chances stopped by Dixon defender Ethan Fox. He tackled the ball away from Josue Orozco in the seventh minute. He also stopped Zane Walters in the 69th minute.
Rochelle also had five shots that were off-target in the game, including a 77th-minute free kick that produced a shot for Austin Brown which went wide, and a Max Torres shot in the 46th minute that went through the football uprights.
“They’d scored 84 goals this year coming into this game, so we knew we had to slow them down,” Dixon coach Josh Brigl said. “The teams that have beaten them are physical – Kaneland, Sycamore, Geneseo – so we knew if we could be organized, physical, just bring as much energy as possible, we’d be in a good spot.”
Dixon 4, Rochelle 1
Star of the game: Kade Fulton, Dixon, 2 goals, 1 assist
Key performers: Bradyn Langloss, Dixon, 1 goal; James Duet, Dixon, 1 goal; Lazaro Gutierrez, Rochelle, 1 goal; Ryan Pitzer, Dixon, 4 saves
Up next: United Township at Dixon, 6 p.m. Thursday