By Todd Fertig

A year ago, Cair Paravel Latin made history as the smallest school in the state with a girls soccer team reached the Class 4-1A Final Four.  

Due in part to an unfortunate draw, the Lions came one game short of matching that feat Tuesday, losing to defending state champion Bishop Miege 6-1 at Bettis Sports Complex. 

KatherineKeysMiegeCair Paravel junior Katherine Keys (left) celebrates the Lions' lone goal with teammate Zahra Friess in Tuesday's 6-1 Class 4A-1A quarterfinal soccer loss to Biship Miege. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

ZahraFriessMiege2Cair Paravel sophomore Zahra Friess (3) races towards the ball in Tuesday's 6-1 Class 4A-1A state quarterfinal loss to Bishop Miege. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

Bishop Miege towers over the 4-1A classification, winning every state championship since Hayden claimed the title in 2015. For Cair Paravel, finishing with the best record in the East Regional turned out to be a curse. It gave the Lions the top seed but forced them to face Miege in the quarterfinals.  

Miege entered the playoffs with a record of just 9-7. But those losses were to 5A powerhouses St. James Academy and St. Thomas Aquinas and four 6A schools. Due to the number of losses they took during the regular season, the Stags entered the playoffs as the sixth seed.  

“We were really hoping that we wouldn’t have to play them until state,” said Katherine Keys, who recorded the Lions’ lone goal 10 minutes into the second half. “But that’s how the cookie crumbled, I guess. We knew that was going to be a tough opponent and they proved themselves to be so. 

“We were hopeful going into the game. We knew we were a good team, and we knew we had a chance. (Coach Doug) Woolery kept telling us that we’re the strongest team he’s ever coached, so we were hopeful.” 

“Credit goes to them. Their level of play is pretty advanced,” Woolery said. “It makes sense when you have the toughest schedule in the state.” 

While Woolery recognized the talent of the opponent, he wasn’t making excuses for the Lions’ performance. 

“I expected us to be more competitive today,” Woolery said. “It felt like the first half, I don’t want to say that it took us by surprise, but I think their speed of play caught us off guard. We kind of were trying to collect ourselves in the defensive third initially, and that’s where we’re usually really strong. It just felt like it took us longer to get organized than I would have liked, and it left our goalie exposed too often, and they capitalized on that.” 

The Lions gave up a goal just 2:30 into the contest. The Stags continued to hammer away, adding three more tallies before the intermission. The Lions trailed 5-0 when Keys scored on an assist from Zahra Friess. 

In the end, the Stags recorded 16 shots on goal to the Lions’ two. 

“I think the first half we just weren’t ready for them,” Keys said. “They have a much faster speed of play than we’re used to. That kind of caught us off guard, so that gave them a lot of goal opportunities in the first half. But in the second half we kept up the pace with them, so we could keep the score down. 

“Good luck to them. They’re a good team. If they win state, they deserve it.” 

The Lions finished the season 16-2-1, with their only other loss coming at the hands of 5A Seaman. Woolery encouraged the Lions to hold their heads high. 

“It hurts. This was the disappointing end to a really good season,” Woolery said. “Our girls have nothing to be ashamed of. They played well all season long. But today just wasn’t our day and the other team played better than we did. And the end result was what you saw on the scoreboard. 


Bishop Miege (12-7-0) 4 2 — 6  

Cair Paravel (16-2-1) 0 1 — 1 

Bishop Miege — Goals: Harris-Hyche 2, Latenser 2, Pedrotti, Bock. Assists: Cervantes, Pedrotti, Erskine, Bock, Boldridge. 

Cair Paravel — Goals: Keys. Assists: Friess. 

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