girl's soccer

Kirn, Wildcats make strides toward uncharted territory

By Jim Faasen, Correspondent
Posted 5/16/24

Wright City junior Paige Kirn has been a major factor for the Wildcats’ offense this season.

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girl's soccer

Kirn, Wildcats make strides toward uncharted territory


Paige Kirn has soccer talent in abundance, it’s easy to see the way she moves around the pitch that she is one of the more dominant figures in any game that she plays.

Being talented to the tune of 30 goals, which is a single-season record for the Wright City girls soccer program, and being on the verge of surpassing the Wildcats’ career record of somewhere around 50 goals isn’t enough for the Wildcats junior, though.

She desperately wants to help lift the play of those around her and, therefore, raise the collective Wright City soccer profile.

“It’s an amazing opportunity, at this age, to be able to help and inspire a great group of teammates around me,” Kirn said. “It’s an honor to work with such great people in this program. I learn as much from everyone around me as I (teach).”

The ability to be a teacher or coaching extension on the field is something second-year Wildcats soccer coach Jacob Wallace absolutely loves about Kirn.

Sure, the 15 assists to go along with her lofty goal total for the Wildcats (8-12) have been vital, but helping foster a more cohesive unit in terms of game plan is also a key contribution from the junior.

“She is another coach on the field and her soccer IQ is off the charts,” Wallace said. “Having the pseudo coach out there on the field to further help her teammates and to help us get our message out, as coaches, has been vital. As we work to try and grow the program, Paige has worked hard to bring everyone along in understanding it (the direction we want to go). She doesn’t yell and scream, she picks people up.”

While Kirn works hard to bring everyone together, she also works very hard to succeed on the field, the coach said.

Wallace points out the fact that Kirn’s talent and drive help her find success out of some very sticky situations.  

“I would argue that she gets the ball in some very unlucky situations at times and she’s got the talent to work her way out of them,” Wallace said. “She often receives the ball with defenders all around her and she still finds a way to earn that success.”

Success is something Wallace said that the Wildcats, as a team, is achieving.

In the program’s fifth competitive season, the team has won eight games, and the mark trails only the 10-12 record from the spring of 2022.

“When I came in, the coaches and I had developed something of a three-year plan,” Wallace said. “In year one, we wanted to set the right culture. In year two, we wanted to show marked growth, and we’ve done that. In year three, though, we want to earn that first winning record and have district success. These are some lofty goals, but that’s what we aim for. We’re also excited for the chance to play on our new turf field next year when we move to the new high school.”

Wallace said that he’s had a great group of seniors in Samantha Yates, McKinzie Davis, Kailin Hawn, and Charleigh Ferrell.

The coach added that junior Paige Rees has also played a significant role in the team’s success.

“She moved into the goal from the field and has solidified things back there,” Wallace said. “She has also shown incredible leadership.”

As far as the changing culture around the team goes, Kirn said she’s been here for it and she’s ready for more in her final season.

“I’m excited for what’s to come, I’m going to miss our seniors, but I am excited,” Kirn said. “The change in culture has been amazing and I can’t wait to see how things grow around here with the great group of coaches and players we have.”