Game Review: Gretna vs. Papillion-La Vista (Girls) – 3/30/21

By itself the final scoreline of this matchup gives the impression that this was a comfortable victory for Gretna. In reality, this was a wonderful night of soccer from both sides as they put their skills on display. There was as much talent on this field as you will find in the state of Nebraska.

Overall, there were a total of seven known Division I prospects sharing the field. Most of these players are in their junior or senior season. However, that number will surely increase in the coming years as the talented underclassmen begin the recruitment process.

This game was competitive for seventy-eight minutes until the Dragons closed with two late goals. Both teams moved the ball efficiently and looked very organized. Highlight reel worthy free kicks from both squads provided clear high points of the night. Our observations confirmed that Gretna and Papillion-La Vista are legitimate title contenders in 2021. 

Game Result – Gretna 5     Papillion-La Vista  2

Women of the Match – Madelyn White & Allison Marshall

NEST Quick Hits 

  • Sarah Weber is a general for her team from start to finish. Her positioning on the field, as well as her communication, set her apart from many. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is getting a very talented player. Her goal off of a free kick opportunity was wonderful to watch. 
  • Gretna is closing the gap on Lincoln East for that #1 ranking. Lincoln East is an excellent team, and they have done nothing but win. However, the Dragons have performed to the highest of standards during the first portion of the season. 
  • Gretna has an excellent group of youngsters that are ready to keep the program in title contention for years to come. Madelyn White is an ultra speedy attacker that is only in her sophomore season. Her attitude and work rate provide a great foundation. Allison Marshall is a name to know for the next three years. Although she was not featured in the starting lineup, the dynamic of the game changed once she entered at forward. 
  • Lauryn Anglim was the standout performer for the Monarch side in this match. She was dangerous with the ball at her feet. The future Husker put on a show with her highlight worthy free kick. It was a textbook approach and a fabulous moment of soccer. 
  • An interesting discovery that should be noted was the absence of Ella Guyott. Guyott was expected by many to be a key contributor for the Monarchs. However, she is listed as a student manager and did not see the field.  


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Gretna Elite Academy and Sporting Omaha FC Join ECNL

Yesterday, it was announced that the two most consistent producers of boys soccer talent in the state of Nebraska will be joining the brand new Heartland Conference of the Boys Elite Clubs National League for the 2021-2022 club season.  Gretna Elite Academy and Sporting Omaha FC will join six other regional clubs in the brand new Heartland Conference.  This is great news for both clubs and the state of Nebraska.

The announcement is also exciting news for the Boys ECNL.  The ECNL, which was originally founded in 2009, is widely considered the top level of girls club soccer in the United States (Gretna Elite Academy’s girls sides also compete in the ECNL), however in recent years they have been expanding their reach and growing their platform on the boys’ side as well.  With the creation of the Heartland Conference, the ECNL adds seven new clubs (FC Wichita, KC Scott Gallagher, Sporting Iowa, SL Scott Gallagher (MO), and Vision Soccer Academy will join the Omaha clubs in the ECNL) and will shift SL Scott Gallagher (IL) from the Midwest Conference into the Heartland Conference.

“Gretna Elite Academy and Sporting Omaha joining ECNL is long awaited big news for boys soccer and finally gives the boys game a positive future for the top kids in the area,” said Gretna Elite Academy Boys Director Chris Dunford.

While the Omaha area has certainly produced it’s fair share of talented players on the boys side, there has been a relatively low ceiling of competition and national exposure available to the teams and players from the area.  The move to Boys ECNL gives both clubs and their players an increased level of competition, the opportunity for more national exposure, while also allowing them to consistently compete against some of the top clubs in-region.

Both Sporting Omaha FC and Gretna Elite Academy have worked together on the boys side in recent years to increase the exposure for their teams and players (including coordinating their college ID camps), and this is just another big step in a positive direction for the future of boys soccer in Omaha and in Nebraska as a whole.  Nebraska Soccer Talk is looking forward to watching both clubs and their players compete in the Boys ECNL in the coming season.  To read more about the Boys ECNL and the brand new Heartland Conference visit the Boys ECNL Website.


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