WXXV Student Athlete of the Week: St. Patrick Soccer’s Anna Katherine Thriffiley

When you get to the South State Championship round of any high school sport, you don’t typically expect to blow out the other team, but that’s exactly what happened in St. Patrick’s 7-1 win over OLA last night and sophomore sensation Anna Katherine Thriffiley was in the middle of all of it.

“I started playing soccer when I was five years old, and I really fell in love with the sport when I was about eight, and that’s when I decided to continue playing.”

Anna Katherine Thriffiley is a mid-striker for the St. Patrick girls soccer team. As just a sophomore, she leads the team with 25 goals this season alone across 15 games.

But if you ask Thriffiley what her favorite part about soccer is, she says it is the people she gets to share the pitch with. “My teammates are my best friends on and off the field and I love spending time with them… especially playing soccer with them.”

Her teammates are lucky to have her because AK’s mission each game is to make sure they succeed and she does anything in her power to make it happen. Head Coach Cassandra Terry said, “AK is just such a phenomenal player. She’s so considerate of all her teammates, and I think for AK a game isn’t complete until she has helped someone else score a goal and that to me is just one of the most beautiful things you can have in a player that doesn’t only think about themselves, and their own successes. They want to see everyone else around them on the up.”

Not only is she a true team player, but she’s also an absolute mastermind whenever the ball is at her feet. She believes she excels in dribbling because she practices it anywhere and everywhere. “Whether I’m around the house, in the garage, or in my backyard, I always have a soccer ball at my feet. And I love just doing moves around my furniture.”

But that’s not the only skill she possesses, Thriffiley’s personal record of juggling a soccer ball consecutively is 864 times. “We were at my tournament and my dad always makes us juggle for positions or in case we have to go to pk’s and so I always wanted to take pk’s and pick what position I wanted to play so I just decided to work at that and then one day I got 864.”

With the help of her talents and ability to positively impact the team’s chemistry, the Lady Irish aren’t done with their season just yet. “Losing to OLA last year was really upsetting, but this year we came back and showed who we are and we beat them and we’re really thrilled to be South State champions.”

The St. Patrick soccer team heads to Jackson Saturday to compete for the Class I State Championship. “This is my first state championship as a coach and I know that for a lot of these young girls that will be their first opportunity at a state championship. I mean, to come into a school where you don’t really know anything and you don’t know how things work, but seeing some of these players excel and do really well with a different kind of leadership, I think it is just fantastic to see. So, we’re going to state and we’re hopefully going to bring it home!”

Categories: Student Athlete of the Week