Prep of the Week: Paige Halder

The Byron senior leads Bears Girls Soccer with 16 goals on the season.

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(ABC 6 News) — Paige Halder has the presence and character to bounce Byron Girls Soccer into the win column any day.

She’s known by teammates as a leader, a friend and even the nickname, ‘Fortnite Master.’

“It was the coach’s daughter,” Halder laughed. “He keeps track of all tryout sheets. ‘Guess who that is?’ And he was like, ‘Paige.'”

The speedy senior has shot up to the top of the roster since her sophomore season. After a measly three goals in 2021, Halder tore off 21 during her junior campaign. Now, in her final prep season, she has a team-high 16 goals for Byron.

“I would say give a lot of credit to my teammates and being able to find the balls,” Halder said. “Our team plays really well together, usually, we get good passes and good shots off.”

“That will to win, she possesses that will to win,” Bears Girls Soccer head coach Jeremy Baumbach added. “She puts the team before all others and she wants to be successful.”

Halder’s quickness can be attributed to her time running track for Byron. Her efforts bore a state title win in the 4x400m relay during the 2023 MSHSL Class AA Championships.

On the pitch, opposing goalies also have to worry about another part of her skillset: Which foot she’s going to strike with.

“She’s super elusive inside and able to get around people,” Coach Baumbach continued. “Now, that she can fire with both feet it’s a deadly combination.”

Halder always attempts shots with both feet during practice as a means of honing her craft further. “Keep trying and trying until it finally gets good,” she noted.

When it comes down to it, Halder’s teammates trust her enough to put the Bears in a great scoring position. She’s assisted on 9 goals so far and as long as she’s on the field, one better not blink. Because whether she scores or not she’ll always aim for the back of the net and keep teams guessing.

“I think we all work really well together,” Halder said. “Just being able to find the opportunities for my team to be able to score is great.”

“If you make a run, she’ll get it,” teammate Marissa Ellavsky reinforced. “Do whatever she can to get to you and then that really helps with our team.”

The Bears have a road match at Lake City on Thursday before playing their final three regular-season games at home.