Maeson Wampler made up for lost time in Saturday’s Class A/AA girls soccer final, scoring the only goal in Christ Presbyterian Academy’s 1-0 win over Christian Academy of Knoxville.
Wampler, one of the Lady Lions’ nine seniors, was unable to play in last year’s 3-1 title-game loss to CAK following a knee injury. But she managed to slide a shot past goalkeeper Maggie Piety 14 minutes into the second half, and CPA (21-2-2) was strong enough defensively to hang on for the program’s first championship.
“I never thought it would be me,” Wampler said of her heroics. “But it means a lot to me. I was on the sideline last year, cheering the team on. It was really rough. But I’m really happy to be back this year.”
Down the stretch, goalkeeper Meredith Roman — also a member of the CPA girls basketball state title team — helped keep CAK (23-1-3) off the scoreboard with a handful of key saves.
“Last year, it felt good to get here,” Roman said. “This year, it wasn’t good enough to just get here. Our defense has withstood every test, and we withstood the ultimate test.
“And they’re a great team, which makes the win even better.”
CPA has quite a postseason history with CAK. The Lady Lions had lost to CAK in three of its previous state tournament appearances — twice in the semifinals.
“Our goal was to play CAK in the finals,” coach Brandy Gagliano said. “To win our first championship is super-sweet, and beating CAK makes it even more special.”
Wampler’s involvement was an emotional factor as well, Gagliano said.
“Maeson would have made a difference last year, but CAK was so strong. But having to sit out last year and watch us get to this point was really motivating for her.”