Albertus Magnus Finally Has Its Field of Dreams
New Haven Register
NEW HAVEN — A year ago, the thoughts of
having one of the varsity soccer teams practice on Celentano Field
after a weekend of wet and wild weather would have been an absolute
But here was the Albertus Magnus College women’s soccer team going through drills on Wednesday afternoon with not even a passing concern about the conditions of the field. There were no puddles of water to avoid, no risk of accidentally finding ankle-busting holes on the field. Yes, Wednesday was a day for the ages in the world of Albertus Magnus athletics.
A couple hundred students, officials and dignitaries were on hand to celebrate the unveiling of the artificial turf field which replaces years of dealing with wear and tear on the natural grass surface at Albertus’ main outdoor athletic facility. A process that started shortly after Michael Spinner was hired last September as the new athletic director culminated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday afternoon.
“We had a great athletic program before today but my vision is that this is a start of something special,” Spinner said. “I am just thrilled for our student-athletes, thrilled for our community.
“We had a situation with the prior field (surface) that, for a lack of a better term, held us back. I think this field is going to really help us take off. Students are naturally interested in this college because of its location, because of the size. Now we have a world-class facility to go with the world-class campus and college.”
In order to sell the idea of redoing the field, Albertus Magnus added men’s and women’s lacrosse to its list of sports the Division III college competes in. The lacrosse teams will compete at the club level in 2012 before playing varsity schedules beginning in 2013.
“We realized one of the needs was for a resurfaced turf,” Spinner said. “A big challenge is that our soccer teams practice and play games on this field so by the second week of the season, the field was all torn up. The conversation turned to this doesn’t have to be for just one sport, we can add men’s and women’s lacrosse as well.”
Krystal Quinones, a senior on the Falcons’ women’s soccer team, won’t be attending Albertus when the lacrosse teams make their varsity debuts. However, she knows the turf field will benefit Albertus Magnus athletes beginning this fall.
“It was a work in progress,” Quinones said of the challenges of playing on the grass field. “We had ditches everywhere. If it rained, we couldn’t practice because it was so horrible. Having this is so much better. It is beautiful.”
Quinones and her teammates will play its first five games on the road beginning with today’s season opener at Coast Guard before playing its first official game on the turf on Sep. 14 against St. Joseph College. The men’s soccer team will christen the field with a Sept. 12 home game against Regis College.