The 2018-2019 season has been one to remember for the Fontana A.B. Miller High School soccer ladies.
Last year, the Rebels came in seventh place in the Citrus Belt League. But this year, after joining the Mountain Valley League, they have turned their fortunes completely around, surging into first place in the standings.
Thanks to a 3-0 victory over Moreno Valley on Jan. 18, Miller has remained undefeated in league action with a 7-0-3 record and has advanced closer to capturing the title.
"This season is really unexpected for me because we've never won league before," said Jazmine Mata, one of the team's senior captains.
Hailie Gonzales, another senior, agreed.
"I came into this year thinking that we were going to be decent, but we're actually doing great," she said. "Every day we come out confident, thinking that we're going to win, and I think our confidence really helps us have that winning mentality."
For senior captain Jasmine Madrigal, the key is that the Rebels put a lot of work into their practice sessions, "and we just show it on the field the next day."
"I think the team's done so well because our coach makes us practice every day, non-stop, and she pushes us to keep working hard and not give up," said senior Megan Quintero.
Coach Mindy Castro said the players deserve their success because they have a lot of talent, they know how to pass the ball, and they communicate well.
"From where we started to where we are now, they have done very well, and we still have a long season ahead of us," Castro said.
Castro said the Rebels have been bolstered by the addition of freshmen America Aguirre and Ariana Lopez, who scored goals against Moreno Valley. Madrigal and Mata had assists.
Sophomore goalkeeper Abigail Macedo, who had three saves in the shutout victory, has been outstanding throughout the season, Castro said.
On Jan. 16, the Rebels triumphed over San Bernardino, 4-2, as Aguirre had a goal and an assist. Kaityln Sagastume, Quintero, and Gonzales each put in one goal, and Madrigal and Lopez had assists.
On Jan. 11, Miller routed Rubidoux, 4-1, as Aguirre collected two goals and Madrigal and Lopez both logged a goal and an assist. Quintero and Mata both had assists. Macedo had nine saves.