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By Todd Fertig

TopSports.news

The Cair Paravel Latin School girls soccer team is going back to state.

It may have come as a surprise when the Lions qualified for the Class 4-1A final four two seasons ago – the 1A program that had just recently earned KSHSAA membership.

KellyAnnChadaBaldwinCair Paravel sophomore KellyAnn Chada scored three goals Tuesday as the Lions advanced to the Class 4A-1A semifinals with a 6-1 win over Baldwin. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

ZahraFriessBaldwinCair Paravel junior Zahra Friess (3) had two goals and an assist in Tuesday's 6-1 state quarterfinal win over Baldwin. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

This year, they left no doubt they belong, steamrolling Baldwin 6-1 in the quarterfinal round at Bettis Family Sports Complex Tuesday.

It took just 13 seconds for the Lions to set the tone. For the second game in a row, Cair Paravel struck for an early goal to put the opponents at a disadvantage.

“I said, ‘Let’s try to take advantage of our speed up top.’ We have a lot of it up there,” Cair Paravel coach Doug Woolery said. “Zahra Friess is incredibly fast. I said, ‘Let’s put the ball down to the flag and let her beat ‘em to it.’ And it’s just worked great. She’s managed to score a couple of goals off of it.”

KatherineKeysBaldwinSenior Katherine Keys had a goal and two assists in Cair Paravel's 6-1 win over Baldwin. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

That was just the beginning of the scoring for Cair Paravel. KellyAnn Chada knocked home three goals, Friess added a second, and Katherine Keys scored a goal to go with two assists. Only a Baldwin goal with 1:20 left spoiled the shutout.

“This is a great win for us and it kind of put an exclamation point on the season,” Woolery said. "A chance to go to the state tournament again is exciting for our school.

“It’s a great group of girls. We have a really good time, and they are so easy to coach, it makes my job super simple.”

With a trip to state already on their resume, this team is ready to do more than show up, Woolery said

“A lot of these girls went to that first state tournament and had a good showing but were disappointed to come in fourth,” Woolery said. “I think this time they have more experience, more maturity. They’ve done some really great things on their club teams at a high level of play. So, I don’t think they’re nervous at all. I think they’re excited.”

The Lions will face McPherson Friday at 6:30 p.m. It’s another stroke of good fortune for the Lions, who avoided facing Bishop Miege, winners of every state title since 2016, in the first three rounds of the playoffs. The Stags will open the tournament against Rose Hill.

“When we played in that first state tournament, I think everybody was sort of in awe,” Woolery said. “This time, I think we’ve proven to ourselves that we can hold our own against Bishop Miege. These guys are excited about whoever we meet. It doesn’t really matter.”

“We’re excited to be back. We missed state last year, and we wanted that revenge, and we got it,” Keys said. “Because we’ve been (to state) before, we know what we can do. We know the ropes. We’ve proved to ourselves that we can face these hard teams.

“Going to state put us on the map. Two years ago, we were the tiny 1A school facing all these giant 4A schools. But now they know who we are, and they know that we are good competition and we’re going to give them a run for their money.”

CAIR PARAVEL 6, BALDWIN 1

Baldwin (12-6-0)       0 1 — 1

Cair Paravel (14-4-1) 2 4 — 6

Baldwin — Goal: Ediger. Assist: Prather.

Cair Paravel — Goals: Chada 3, Friess 2, Keys. Assists: Keys 2, Friess, Meyer.

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