It’s not often that a father and son are able to say they were both Lehigh varsity athletes.
But that was the case for men’s soccer senior forward Doyle Tuvesson.
Naturally, athleticism and speed ran through Tuvesson’s veins, as his father, Lars Tuvesson, ’88, was a student athlete on the Lehigh men’s track and field team.
As a child, Tuvesson played almost any sport he could get involved with whether it was soccer, basketball or hockey. Standing at 5-foot-11, Tuvesson said his smaller build and speed allowed him to be more fit for soccer.
“I did run track in middle school for a little, but I always liked team sports,” Tuvesson said. “While I liked track and had fun running in the events and races, I just couldn’t bring myself to only run. I needed something else, like a ball at my feet.”
Although both his parents, Lars and Nancy Tuvesson, graduated from Lehigh, Tuvesson said he never felt any overwhelming pressure to attend the university.
“We believed it was important for him to own such a big decision, perhaps even more so because of the legacy situation,” Nancy Tuvesson said. “Lars and I never steered Doyle towards Lehigh – or any other school. In fact, Lehigh found him.”
Prior to his official visit with the men’s soccer team, it had been years since Tuvesson’s parents returned to Lehigh’s campus.
“It was a cool experience, I got to come down with my dad and he hadn’t actually been to Lehigh in awhile,” Tuvesson said. “But now, I mean, they’ve been my biggest supporters my whole life, and the past four years, they come to almost every single game possible.”
Tuvesson’s success on the soccer field is attributed to far more than just his natural born athleticism and dedication to the sport.
“Doyle had a really good fall season as a junior in high school and he started to hear from a lot of coaches. One of the first filters was whether or not the school had an engineering program because that’s just how his brain was wired,” Nancy Tuvesson said. “Some coaches told him that even though they offered engineering, he wouldn’t be allowed to study engineering as a division one athlete.”
Lehigh’s old mascot, the engineers, took on new meaning for Tuvesson when he committed to play for the Lehigh men’s soccer team his junior year of high school.
“I think Doyle’s brain, and perhaps we can attribute it to being also an engineering brain, but you know, soccer is a bit of math and angles, and Doyle always does that math pretty quickly when he’s out on the field,” coach Dean Koski said.
“He can look at groupings and parings of players in small areas and say “wow we have a numbers up situation here” for example, so the way he processes the game – he solves problems very quickly on the field, which is probably similar to the way he processes engineering problems and other things in life.”
Engineering bonded the Tuvesson family, as both Doyle’s father and brother are engineers. Whether it was fixing the wiring, plumbing or building a motorcycle, Lars Tuvesson always involved both Doyle and his brother.
“I’ve always had since I was a kid, leanings towards engineering, just doing random things with my dad so that definitely had an impact on me,” Doyle Tuvesson said.
As a mechanical engineer, Tuvesson not only developed more advanced mechanical and critical thinking skills, but with the help of his parents, he was able to channel his childhood energy into strategic thinking situations which ultimately helped with his soccer development.
“We were outside a lot, we played a lot of soccer, street hockey, basketball it didn’t matter. Sometimes it was just running around like crazy,” Nancy Tuvesson said. “We also played a lot of games, many of which were strategy based board games, and I think that has helped him think about movement and strategy on the soccer field.”
Across his four years at Lehigh, Tuvesson had an incredibly successful career with a total of 17 goals and 24 assists.
With a Bachelors of Science degree in mechanical engineering, Tuvesson is graduating in December to pursue a professional career in soccer.
“I think Doyle can be a professional soccer player,” Koski said. “He’s incredibly technical, he’s very fast – he’s got all the tools, and I do think all of those things play a role into Doyle’s ability to be special.”
Lehigh engineering has opened numerous doors for Tuvesson athletically and academically.
Tuvesson recently returned from a two-week trial in France, where owner of French Reserve team Le Harve and Lehigh alum Vincent Volpe, ’80, invited him to train with the professional team.
Volpe, former CEO of Dresser-Rand, a well-known engineering firm, also graduated from Lehigh with a Bachelors of Science degree in mechanical engineering.
“You’d just be surprised at where Lehigh alums are to this day, whether it’s for sports or for your career,” said Tuvesson. “I’m using this connection to see what soccer is like in a professional environment over there. It’s been really awesome that I’ve been lucky enough to have this chance.”