A doormat for most of its years of existence, Ceres High's varsity girls soccer program posted back-to-back winning seasons during its most recent campaigns.
The Bulldogs had a combined record of 17-4-3 in Western Athletic Conference play, claimed their first league title and participated in the playoffs twice.
Ceres High should be just as productive this winter.
"It would disappointing if we didn't make playoffs because the talent and experience is there," third-year head coach Miguel Saldate said. "I have faith in them."
The Bulldogs' roster features veterans and new talent as just one starter (team captain Karina Torrez) was lost to graduation.
Ceres High returns 11 players from last year's team, including Cristina Arreola (Sr.), Dominique Koeurn (Sr.), Celeste Mariscal (Sr.), Breanna Moreno (Sr.), Angelmarie Coral (Jr.), Noelia de Leon (Jr.), Miranda Wilds (Jr.), Brianna Zamora (Jr.), Karina Estrada (So.), Edith Larranga (So.) and Mariah Trevino (So.).
Erika Gutierrez (Jr.), Kristen Rodriguez (Jr.), Isabella Ramirez (So.), Yanelli Rodriguez (So.), Siriana Gudino (Fr.), Miranda Larranaga (Fr.), Aryanna Madrigal (Fr.), Arianah Martinez (Fr.) and Joanna Torrez (Fr.) are new to the team.
Moreno earned first-team all-conference honors her junior year.
Arreola and Trevino were both selected to the WAC Second Team.
Arreola and Koeurn are fourth-year varsity players.
Moreno, Coral and Wilds are third-year members.
Facing a tie-or-win scenario this past season, Ceres High rallied for a 4-3 victory at Livingston to secure the Western Athletic Conference's final postseason berth.
The Bulldogs were awarded the No. 16 seed in the Division-III playoff bracket.
Ceres High mustered just three shots on goal during its 2-0 opening-round loss to No. 1 Manteca.
The Bulldogs posted a 12-6-1 overall record and finished third in the WAC standings (8-3-1).
Ceres High lost twice (3-1, 4-1) to crosstown-rival/conference-champion Central Valley (11-1-0).
"Those games are going to be very competitive," Saldate said. "It's going to be different from past years."
Ceres High reached unprecedented heights during the 2014-15 school year. The Bulldogs claimed their first conference title and second playoff berth.
The Bulldogs made their first-ever postseason appearance during the 1990s.
Ceres High's compiled a 21-10-5 record in WAC play, annexed one conference title and participated in the playoffs twice during Saldate's tenure as head coach.
"I put pressure on the girls," Saldate said. "I try to push them to do better. I teach them to do things the right way. That helps a lot."