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CAL SOUTH NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES CHAMPIONS PROFILE: REBELS SC

October 10, 2018

By the 80th minute of the 2018 US Youth Soccer National Championship 17 and Under Girls Final, Rebels SC head coach Ryan Marquez had his mind made up, the game was going into overtime. He knew his girls were strong, but the extreme heat of Texas and tired legs would eventually take toll on the team.

Then in an attacking play, Rebels sees their teammate Rylie Curran go down in a gut-wrenching injury. Instead of giving up, the girls decided to get back on the field and play for Curran, who was now being tended to at the medical tent. The girls turned on game mode and with a few minutes left in the game, Ashley Herndon knocked in the game-winning goal against Missouri’s FCKC. Rebels had made club history by becoming National Champions.

“The National Championship means a lot to me,” Herndon said. “Lifting that trophy up in the air just was the best feeling ever, just knowing we’re number one, we did it, and that all that hard work paid off for something.”

“We’re just excited, the girls are pumped that they played the way they played,” said coach Marquez on the National Championship. “Going back and watching video, we’re proud of what we did. For us, it means a lot, it means a lot for the club, because it’s a younger club, so we’re excited.”

To become a National Champion, Rebels SC worked endlessly and hard for six years. They’ve had two previous opportunities to get to the National Championships, including one in the 2017 contention where they fell short in the Far West Regional Quarterfinals in Seattle. With six years in the books, and with some players moving on to collegiate careers, becoming a National Champion would be the best way to lock in a lifetime of friendships.

This year, Rebels decided to do it all over again, fighting for their ticket to Far West Regionals through National Cup and the California Regional League (CRL), but not exactly talking about the National Championship Series. Although they finished as runners-up in National Cup, their ticket was already clinched when they finished in the top spot of the toughest tournament in Southern California.

“I’ve been to Far West [Regionals] three years so far, and we’ve never won the championship, so it means a lot to actually go with this specific team that I’ve been with for so long,” goalkeeper Brooklyn Hawkins said.

“[These girls are] my sisters. It’s my senior year and it’s starting to hit me that we’re seniors and I’m not going to see them next year, we’re going to be playing in college. It’s crazy that out of all the teams that have won the National Championship, this one is the one that I’m with because it just means so much more,” she finalized.

To learn more about this team, click here to visit the Rebels SC website.