We are entering into the final stages of the 2021 season, and it has been a wonderful experience. While it has been a joy to watch the sport all season long, this is the time of year when it really matters. The energy and anticipation is almost overwhelming for soccer fans such as ourselves.  The district pairings have been released by the NSAA, and the process of establishing a state field is underway. Nebraska Soccer Talk gives our thoughts and analysis on the district/sub-district match-ups.

A-1

#1 Lincoln Southwest
#2 Millard West
#3 Omaha Burke
#4 Omaha Benson
#5 Omaha Northwest
  • Southwest is undefeated for a reason, they are extremely talented and have a championship mindset. This is a squad that is filled with quality at every level. The Silverhawks have played a challenging schedule, defeating every opponent on their quest for perfection. They are the favorite here, but it will be no sure thing.
  • A huge percentage of Millard West’s starting lineup has been occupied by freshmen and sophomore players. They have battled all season long, learning many lessons along the way. With a full regular season of experience, can this be a coming of age moment?

A-2

#1 Gretna
#2 Millard North
#3 Omaha Central
#4 Lincoln Northeast
#5 Omaha Bryan
  • Gretna is our current #1, they have earned that ranking again and again. The Dragons have perhaps the best player in the state occupying midfield, Sarah Weber is that good. Not to be outdone, her teammates have proven themselves to be of high quality as well. Talent is amazing, but what truly sets this team apart is their championship mentality.
  • Gretna’s path to Morrison will not be a cakewalk. Millard North features several division one talents that have the potential to take over a game. The Mustangs need to provide more of a supporting cast, but the potential is there.
  • Omaha Central will have something to say in this one, and they will not go quietly. The Eagles will be a difficult opponent.

A-3

#1 Lincoln East
#2 Elkhorn South
#3 Millard South
#4 Grand Island
#5 Omaha North
  • With the return of Haley Peterson, a top talent in the state, Lincoln East will be back to almost full strength. When healthy, this team jumps into the #1 ranking argument.
  • Elkhorn South and Millard South have both won consistently when facing teams of equal or less talent. However, a new level will need to be found if they wish to keep playing in 2021. Both squads are capable of winning the group, but it will take being great at the details to pull it off.

A-4

#1 North Platte
#2 Lincoln Pius
#3 Lincoln North Star
#4 Fremont
  • Love the resiliency of the Lady Bulldog program. After a tough start, they have rallied to finish the season with only one loss in their final twelve games. Gracie Haneborg is a division one talent, that would be well known if she played in the Lincoln or Omaha area.
  • Wins over Omaha Mercy and Lincoln Southeast demonstrate the potential of Lincoln Pius X. They have a chance to advance from this group.

A-5

#1 Papillion – La Vista South
#2 Columbus
#3 Bellevue East
#4 Omaha South
  • During the first half of the season PL South was an overwhelming force with an 8-0 start. Then Allie Napora goes down and the impact has been significant. The remaining roster is very talented, but may be a year or two off from true title contention.
  • Columbus entered out Top 10 in recent weeks and has proven to be a very solid squad. It will be a tough task, but their chances look promising.

A-6

#1 Omaha Marian
#2 Lincoln Southeast
#3 Omaha Westside
#4 Norfolk
  • Group A-6 looks fun and could be full of surprises. Omaha Marian and Lincoln Southeast are the most likely to advance but that championship game is an absolute toss up.

A-7 

#1 Kearney
#2 Papillion-La Vista
#3 Lincoln High
#4 Bellevue West
  • My belief in Kearney is strong, something about that program generates a lot of optimism with me. They are solid in every aspect of the game which makes them a very difficult opponent.
  • Advancement to the state tournament for Papillion-La Vista would be a very unsurprising result from this group. This is perhaps as close as you can get in terms of quality between a one and a two seed.

 

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