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By Todd Fertig

TopSports.news

The Cair Paravel Latin School girls soccer team rolled to a 6-2 victory over Maranatha Christian Academy – a Senior Night celebration punctuated by a Kaw Valley League championship.

KatherineKeysHayden 1Senior Katherine Keys (right) scored a pair of goals in Thursday's 6-2 Cair Paravel Senior Night win over Maranatha Academy. [File photo/TSN]

Senior Katherine Keys led the way with two goals while classmate Corinne Stapleton provided two assists and another goal for the Lions. Sophomore KellyAnn Chada also tallied two assists and a goal.

“A lot of people came out. That shows the kind of school community that we have and the love that school shows all of us,” senior Trinity Childs said prior to the Senior Night ceremony. “This group of seniors started playing together in seventh grade. So, we’ve been in the program for a very long time.

“These girls are amazing. I love this team. This is my favorite season of any I’ve played. We have so much talent on this team and they all love the sport.”

The victory lifted Cair Paravel to an 11-4-1 record. The Lions are bunched among several teams all vying for the top spot in the Class 4-1A East Regional.

Now the Lions can do nothing but wait to see how other teams finish and the playoff seedings shake out.

The specter of Bishop Miege – winners of every state title since 2016 – looms over the bracket. Because the Stags play a schedule packed with 5A and 6A foes, they enter postseason with a record of 9-7. They perennially receive a low seed, only to roll over higher-seeded opponents en route to the championship.

Last year, Bishop Miege ended the higher-seeded Lions’ season one game short of the state Final Four.

“I feel good about where we are, but I hesitate to say too much. I felt good last year, too,” Cair Paravel coach Doug Woolery said. “But I feel like we’re right where we need to be. Everyone’s healthy. I feel like we have all the players where they help the team the most, so that makes us as strong as we can be.”

Keys was an integral member of the Lions’ team that advanced to the state semifinals two years ago. She pointed to a 2-1 loss to Bishop Miege earlier this season as proof that the Lions can compete with anyone this year.

“To make it to state in our first year in KSHSAA, we were so pumped. We didn’t win, but even just to be there was a great privilege,” Keys said. “We’re super excited for playoffs. We’re ready for whoever we face.

“We proved when we played Bishop Miege that we can take on anyone. Even though we didn’t win, we can pull out a win next time. I believe it. We’ve been playing hard and learning the small ball, figuring out the chemistry and it’s been working really well for us.”

Woolery said the Lions must focus on controlling what they can control.

“It’s kind of a crap shoot at this point,” Woolery said. “My attitude at this point is that it’s a ‘GOK’ – God only knows. We’ve done everything we can. Now we just hope that our best team shows up on the day that we play and we do it the way we know that we can, and that the end result is a ‘W.’

“I think my players are in a better place this year than last year. I think we were really intimidated last year by some teams that we were going to face. I don’t think we’re intimidated this year. In fact, I think we’re hungry for the challenge.”

CAIR PARAVEL 6, MARANATHA ACADEMY 2

Maranatha Christian Academy (8-8-0) 0 2 — 2

Cair Paravel                              (11-4-1) 3 3 — 6

Maranatha Christian Academy — Goals: Q. Sramek, A. Isaacson. Assists: A. Isaacson.

Cair Paravel — Goals: Keys 2, Stapleton, Chada, Carlson, Colombo. Assists: Stapleton 2, Chada 2, Keller.

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