Another Russell Lady Devil goalkeeper will be joining the college ranks.
Senior Jalyn Forsyth, a three-year starter for the Lady Devils, is a new University of Pikeville signee.
Forsyth, who has roots in Pikeville, has been keeping her eye on UPike and vice versa.
“It’s kind of my hometown,” she said. “My aunt lives there. My dad and aunt went to college there.”
Second-year UPike head coach Gary Warford attended the signing last Friday at Russell High School.
“I know he’s excited,” Russell coach Joe Grizzle said. “He said he’s been waiting for Jalyn the last couple of years to graduate and go there.”
Forsyth has 17 career shutouts to her credit and is one of the reasons for Russell’s 10-2-1 start this season.
“I’m proud of Jalyn,” Grizzle said. “She’s worked real hard to get where she is. Pikeville is a good fit and she will do well there.”
Forsyth also drew interest from Eastern Kentucky, Northern Kentucky, Kentucky Christian and Midway.
UPike, 4-2 through last week, is a member of the Mid-South Conference.
“It’s growing,” Forsyth said of the NAIA program. “They are going to be Division II my sophomore year.”
Forsyth took over goalkeeping duties at Russell as a sophomore following the graduation of Elizabeth Floyd, who plays for Morehead State.
“I looked up to her when I was a freshman,” Forsyth said.
Since then, Forsyth has carved out a nice legacy of her own at Russell — perennially one of the area’s top teams. Her experience and ability in guarding the net are valuable assets for a team with high hopes for the postseason.
“I think she plays with a lot of confidence,” Grizzle said. “That helps with the defense to know she’s back there to stop the ball.”
Or come and get it, when necessary.
“Jalyn comes out of the goal real well,” Grizzle said. “Being aggressive on the ball helps tremendously. She’s able to judge it well and does a great job communicating with her back line.”
Shelby Huddleston, Jennifer Sloan, Kodie Patrick and Alexis McMonigal lead a quality group of defenders.
“They work really well together,” Forsyth said. “I’m always talking to them on the field.”
A highly competitive schedule doesn’t allow Forsyth and her teammates time for complacency. Both of Russell’s losses came to current Top 25 teams and more challenges wait ahead.
“I love playing against good teams,” Forsyth said. “It really makes you work. I know it will help me for college.”
Next year, she will be reunited with former club soccer teammate Emma Wonn of Ashland. Wonn is a freshman at UPike.
“I’m excited to play with her again,” Forsyth said.
Jalyn’s freshman sister, Harley, is also a goalkeeper at Russell.
“We are hoping she will step up next year and come right into it,” Grizzle said.
Russell hosts Ashland tonight at 6.
ROCKY STANLEY can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2671.