Feb. 13, 2014
DAVIS, Calif. - The UC Davis women's field hockey program will have a new $3.2 million facility to call its own beginning this summer, thanks to the collaborative efforts of donors, parents, the Athletics Department, and the campus, it's been announced by Director of Athletics Terry Tumey.
The USA Field Hockey certified field will bring immediate benefits to the Aggies, allowing them to practice and compete on the regulation field hockey surface currently used at nearly every other collegiate program in the country.
Construction on the field is scheduled to begin in April with turf installation slated to be completed in time for the team's start of practices in August for the 2014 season. It'll be located southeast of Aggie Stadium - the team's current home - across La Rue Road and just south of the Dairy and Teaching Facility.
"We're grateful to everyone that has helped to make this field a reality," Tumey said. "This is an exciting step in our program's development and we couldn't have done it without those that share our vision. And while we are able to move forward with the project, I see this as the first step. We need to identify additional financial support, and our fundraising efforts are just beginning."
The primary feature of the facility will be the synthetic turf field. It'll provide a smooth, fast playing surface compared to the bladed artificial grass in Aggie Stadium that is more suited for football and lacrosse and leads to a much slower-paced game.
The lack of a traditional field hockey surface has prevented many east coast teams - including some of the top programs - from venturing to UC Davis during their west coast trips. Instead, the Aggies have traveled to play "home" games against those teams at Cal and Stanford, which have field hockey fields. UC Davis will be one of only three NCAA Div. I field hockey programs on the west coast to have a regulation playing surface. Having its own facility will also allow the team to more easily schedule practices around the student-athletes' class schedules.
"Undoubtedly, our fall weather and high-quality field will make UC Davis much more attractive to teams coming across the country to play the Bay Area teams," Tumey said. "It'll also better prepare us for not only our conference opponents but for our trips to the east coast where most field hockey programs are located."
The facility will also feature water cannons to help prep the field for practices and games, a seating area for fans, bike parking, and a scoreboard. The area surrounding the perimeter fence will have sustainable landscaping.
UC Davis will be starting its sixth year of competition this fall after regaining varsity status prior to the 2009 season. The Aggies are coming off their best season, finishing second in the NorPac Conference West Division and posting wins over then-No. 6 ranked Stanford and also Cal. The Aggies recently announced Tiffany Huisman as their new head coach.