No slowing down: Forbus hopes to build on successful freshman year

Addie Forbus was the first player off the bench for the Rebels, playing 722 minutes, the most of any non-starter, and scoring four goals – including the first one of the season for Ole Miss. (Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics)

Addie Forbus was the first player off the bench for the Rebels, playing 722 minutes, the most of any non-starter, and scoring four goals – including the first one of the season for Ole Miss. (Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics)

By Melissa Meador

Monroe Journal

Addie Forbus made her impact right away in her freshman season on the Ole Miss soccer team.

The former Amory standout, who set the Mississippi high school record for goals scored picked up where she left off, scoring the first goal of the season for the Rebels in their season opener against Louisiana-Lafayette.

“I didn’t think it was true. I looked over at the ref and then over at Coach (Matt) Mott, wondering if it really happened. It was definitely surreal,” Forbus said.

Forbus scored four goals and tallied six assists as the first player off the bench for the Rebels, playing 722 minutes on the year, the most of any non-starter.

“I don’t think I could have asked for anything better. Normally I was in every game as the first sub off the bench as a freshman,” Forbus said. “I learned a lot in the fall and got to practice what I learned in the spring.”

Mott, who’s starting his fifth season in Oxford, called Forbus a spark offensively in her freshman season.

“She was very good her freshman year and really learned the position we had her playing,” he said. “She worked very hard last year, and we’re really happy with her development.”

Forbus scored one of her four goals in the regular season finale against Mississippi State and had two assists in the Rebels’ first-round playoff win over Jackson State. It was the first time for Ole Miss to host a first-round game in the NCAA tournament and the Rebels’ first trip to the second round.

“It was really awesome getting to play Jackson State in the first round in Oxford. It felt a lot more at home obviously, and we had really great support for that game,” Forbus said. “Florida State was a really great team that we faced in the second round, but they didn’t blow us out by any means. We gave them a run for their money.”

Forbus said going from high school to the SEC was a huge change, especially with the speed of the game.

“It’s very different because you grow up with pretty much everyone from your high school team. It soon starts to feel like that though with your college team,” Forbus said. “The thing that’s the most different though is the speed of play. It’s hard for players to become accustomed to how fast everything is. Defenders are bigger and stronger, too. In high school, I could get by with using just my speed, but I learned in the fall, I have to use my head too along with my feet.”

Despite losing their two leading goal scorers, the Rebels posted a 6-0 spring record.

“I think we kind of shocked some people losing big-name players,” Forbus said. “We lost three starters who had a big impact on the game, but I think we showed some people that we could still play and win and that those three didn’t make up the entire team.”

Making strides

Mott said he saw Forbus made strides just during the spring.

Addie Forbus had six assists on the season for the Rebels, including one in the regular season finale against Mississippi State and two in the Ole Miss' win over Jackson State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. (Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics) 

Addie Forbus had six assists on the season for the Rebels, including one in the regular season finale against Mississippi State and two in the Ole Miss’ win over Jackson State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. (Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics)

“Addie had a fantastic spring and really came on and worked hard,” he said. “I think she really took a big step forward this spring and started playing with a lot more confidence. She’s understanding her role and starting to realize that she belongs in this league.”

The Rebels visit Samford in preseason action next Friday before ushering in the SEC Network with the first game of the season against Georgia on Aug. 22.

Forbus said she thinks the potential is there for another successful season.

“I think a lot of people expect us to be a one-hit wonder and fall off the map without those big names we had last year,” she said. “But I think we shocked people and showed them that even though they were a big part of our team and our attack, three players don’t make a team. We have a really good freshmen class coming in, and I think we’re going to have an even better season than last year.”

melissa.meador@journalinc.com