‘It feels awe­some’

For­tune na­tive’s 31-goal cam­paign for Holy Cross im­pres­sive

The Southern Gazette - - SPORTS - BY PAUL HERRIDGE THE SOUTH­ERN GAZETTE Photo Sub­mit­ted

The 2013 provin­cial men’s Chal­lenge Cup soc­cer reg­u­lar sea­son will be one to re­mem­ber for Holy Cross striker Tyler Forsey.

In pos­si­bly one of the best goalscor­ing cam­paigns in league his­tory, the 20-year-old na­tive of For­tune tal­lied an ex­tra­or­di­nary 31 times for the Cru­saders in a 27 game sea­son. The booted 94 goals in all, giv­ing up a grand to­tal of 26 against, on the way to a first-place fin­ish over­all and the ‘ Bobby Breen Me­mo­rial Tro­phy’ for a fourth sea­son in a row.

Forsey, who is cur­rently em­ployed as soc­cer cood­i­na­tor for Por­tu­gal Cove-St. Phillip’s, scored his first goal of the sea­son at the 47minute mark of the team’s open­ing game May 7, a 7-1 win over the CBS Strik­ers, and posted his last at 75 min­utes in a 5-0 vic­tory over Mount Pearl Aug. 17, the squad’s sec­ond last game.

In be­tween, he scored two goals in a sin­gle game on seven occa- sions, and had hat tricks in three more, scor­ing in 18 of the team’s 27 matches.

When asked if any stood out, he told The South­ern Gazette last week the most mem­o­rable goal of the bunch came Aug. 3 against the Lau­ren­tians at Cen­ten­nial Field on St. Lawrence Day dur­ing Come Home Year cel­e­bra­tions.

“What makes for great games some­times is who is play­ing and what the oc­ca­sion is. Any good ath­lete should want to thrive in the most com­pet­i­tive of at­mos­pheres.

“I man­aged to score on a vol­ley in the last minute of play to lift us to a 4-3 vic­tory. That has to be the mo­ment that sticks out in my mind.”

Forsey noted he started play­ing Chal­lenge Cup soc­cer when he was 15, and man­aged to score goals, but was limited to play­ing only a few games un­til this year – his first full cam­paign – due to age group du­ties.

Not­ing his goal pro­duc­tion has led op­po­nents to guard him much tighter, in some cases post­ing two de­fend­ers to watch his ev­ery move, he ac­knowl­edged he wasn’t to­tally sur­prised by his suc­cess this sea­son.

“When I was 17, I won the in­door scor­ing ti­tle, so I knew it was a pos­si­bil­ity.

“Af­ter a full year train­ing with Holy Cross, my per­sonal goal was, yes, to win the scor­ing ti­tle, but soc­cer is a team sport and the ul­ti­mate goal is win­ning a cham­pi­onship.”

Humbly stat­ing he feels he has some nat­u­ral abil­ity in the sport, Forsey said he has trained very hard.

“Com­bin­ing that with hav­ing very tal­ented team­mates, that’s what has led us to suc­cess.”

A part of Forsey’s off-sea­son train­ing reg­i­ment this year in­cluded run­ning. He par­tic­i­pated in three 60-me­tre track meets in the prov­ince, break­ing the provin­cial record on the first oc­ca­sion, and sub­se­quently im­prov­ing his own times in each of the fol­low­ing events.

He sug­gested the two sports, par­tic­u­larly con­sid­er­ing his po­si­tion on the pitch, go hand-in-hand.

“Sprint­ing is a big as­pect of be­ing a striker. It’s one of the more cru­cial qual­i­ties. So any­thing that helps my sprint­ing will, in turn, help my soc­cer.”

Forsey’s goal to­tal was nearly dou­ble that of the league’s next high­est scorer, Holy Cross team­mate Steve Delong, who hit the twine 16 times. Both Jake War­ren and Jon Hawco scored 10 goals a piece for the Cru­saders, while Jeremy Bab­stock chipped in nine more for the po­tent of­fen­sive jug­ger­naut.

In a re­cent blog on his web­site, New­found­land and Labrador Soc­cer As­so­ci­a­tion (NLSA) men’s vi­cepres­i­dent and Chal­lenge Cup com­mis­sioner Gord Dun­phy tried to re­call the last time the 30-goal plateau was reached in a sea­son, sug­gest­ing Ju­nior Doyle and Frank Haskell as pos­si­bil­i­ties for the pow­er­house Lau­ren­tians of the 1970s.

While sev­eral play­ers have sur­passed 20 goals on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions, Dun­phy couldn’t re­call any­one hit­ting the mile­stone in more re­cent mem­ory ei­ther.

Forsey ac­knowl­edged he proud of the achieve­ment.

“It feels awe­some. What­ever I do, I try and be the best. Both of my par­ents (Walt Forsey and Joy Burt) are elite ath­letes and have had ma­jor suc­cess on a world level.

“It’s just a nat­u­ral to give ev­ery­thing I have and ex­pect qual­ity per­for­mances from my­self.”

Holy Cross will square off against fourth place Feil­dians in one of the two Chal­lenge Cup play­offs semi-fi­nals at Cen­ten­nial Field in St. Lawrence this Fri­day. The vic­tor will play the win­ner be­tween St. Lawrence and Mount Pearl Sun­day.

Forsey, who said he has heard some Chal­lenge Cup vet­er­ans call this sea­son the most com­pet­i­tive in the past num­ber of years, with any of the four re­main­ing clubs hav­ing a le­git­i­mate shot at win­ning it all. He noted the Cru­saders are look­ing for their fifth cham­pi­onship in a row.

“We fin­ished this sea­son in first place. I think our chances our good.”

pher­[email protected]­erngazette.ca

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Tyler Forsey scored 31 times for Holy Cross dur­ing the Chal­lenge Cup reg­u­lar sea­son.

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