May 21, 2014
DAVIS, Calif. -
UC Davis' new women's field hockey facility took another step toward becoming a reality when members of the Aggies and department officials held official groundbreaking ceremonies on Tuesday afternoon at the site of the new field.
The $3.2 million facility - being built thanks to the collaborative efforts of donors, parents, the Athletics Department and the campus - is expected to be ready for UC Davis to begin practice when the team reports for preseason practices in August.
Director of Athletics Terry Tumey, head coach Tiffany Huisman and several members of the team and athletics department gathered Tuesday at the facility site which is located southeast of Aggie Stadium across La Rue Road.
"This is an exciting step forward for the women's field hockey program and one the university community will be very proud of," Tumey said. "This has been a dream for the program for several years and we're thrilled to see it start to come to fruition."
UC Davis has played and practiced at Aggie Stadium since resuming varsity competition in 2009. The stadium's artificial turf is ideal for football and lacrosse but provides a much slower-paced game for field hockey. The new facility will have a USA Field Hockey certified turf that will provide the Aggies the same regulation playing surface used by nearly every other collegiate program in the country.
"I think the field is going to help us keep moving in the right direction, along with our new leadership," said sophomore co-captain Emily Costa.
UC Davis has traveled to the Bay Area on several occasions to play against nationally ranked teams from the east coast because those programs would prefer to play on regulation fields at Stanford and Cal rather than travel to UC Davis to play on a field better suited for football and lacrosse.
Attracting those teams to Davis is among the many immediate benefits, Huisman said.
"It's going to be a great recruiting asset for us," she said. "It will also help us start developing our skills into those that will help us compete on a national level."
Because the field hockey team will have its own facility, the student-athletes on the team will have more flexibility in scheduling classes rather than having to share Aggie Stadium with other programs and work around a variety of practice schedules
Sophomore standout Jamie Garcia said the field hockey facility is a big step forward for the the program.
"This means that the university really believes in us and all that we can do," she said. "It really shows their support behind our program."
Seating areas, bike parking, a scoreboard and water cannons to help prep the field for competition are among the other amenities that will be included in the facility.