‘It feels awesome’
Fortune native’s 31-goal campaign for Holy Cross impressive
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.”
Tyler Forsey scored 31 times for Holy Cross during the Challenge Cup regular season.