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Some Nebraska girls soccer teams have taken to heart the cliché, "You've got to beat the best to be the best." And while some programs have met that theory with plenty of success, most have not.
As we dove into our Nebraska girls soccer rankings Tuesday, and sifted through the strength of schedule data, we discovered that some of the Cornhusker State's premier girls soccer programs play schedules that match their own level of play.
Lincoln Pius X (7-8), Nebraska's 22nd best squad according to MaxPreps Nebraska Rankings, played the roughest girls soccer schedule in the state this season when you take into consideration MaxPreps' strength of schedule average, followed by top-ranked Gretna (14-3) and No. 11 Millard West (10-5).
Besides Gretna, five other schools in this week's Top 10 have played their way into Nebraska's Top 15 rankings regardless of class. Elkhorn (13-3), the state's second-ranked squad has played the fifth most difficult schedule, while Elkhorn South (16-2), Millard North (14-3), Omaha Westside (12-3) and Millard West sit third, fifth, sixth and 11th in Tuesday's rankings respectively.
Omaha Mercy and Elkhorn actually tied for the No. 5 spot in this week's Top 10, but the Monarchs won the tie-breaker since Omaha Mercy's opposition put together a better winning percentage, collectively, than Elkhorn's foes. Omaha Central and Elkhorn South tied for the 10th spot, but since this is a Top 10 both remain in the No. 10 slot despite Omaha Central winning the tiebreaker.
Lincoln Pius X's competition also put together the top opponent winning percentage of the teams sitting in this week's Top 10 with a collective winning percentage of .675, making it difficult to argue that anybody other than the Thunderbolts played the state's toughest schedule.
Listed next to each school in the Top 10 is the team's won-loss record in parentheses, its opposition's combined won-loss records and the team's MaxPreps strength of schedule rating.Nebraska's Top 10 toughest girls soccer schedules
Pius X (Lincoln)
(7-8), 162-78, 10.5
(14-3), 175-91, 9.0
3. Millard West (Omaha)
(10-5), 144-105, 7.4
4. Millard North (Omaha)
(14-3), 155-126, 7.1
5. Mercy (Omaha)
(11-6), 168-105, 6.8
(13-3), 154-102, 6.8
7. Papillion-LaVista South (Papillion)
(9-7), 148-111, 6.7
8. Grand Island
(0-15), 145-95, 6.2
9. Omaha Westside
(12-3), 132-117, 6.0
10. Omaha Central
(6-12), 174-129, 5.9
10. Elkhorn South (Omaha)
(16-2), 165-136, 5.9