April 21, 2008
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University officially opened Stanton Field, its new state-of-the-art soccer practice field today, as players, coaches and administrators came out to celebrate the occasion. The new practice field was a part of the agreement Santa Clara made with the San Jose Earthquakes to help renovate the practice facility and Buck Shaw Stadium in return for the use of Buck Shaw for home games over the next two seasons.
"This is an epic moment in soccer for Santa Clara," said Director of Athletics Dan Coonan. "We are so much closer to achieving our goal of having a first-rate facility to match the elite programs that Jerry Smith and Cameron Rast have built at Santa Clara. We couldn't be happier with this field. It's so much safer and easier on the ankles and the knees. It's more durable and easier to play on after the rain and it has state of the art drainage. It's everything we could want."
Italgreen, the Italy-based company that designed the field, will make its American debut with Santa Clara. The field is composed of a new species of synthetic grass carpet called "Double T" that was thought, patented and planned for soccer playing. In place of the rubber pellets found in most new artificial turfs, the new field will use the ecological alternative Geofill, the 100 perecent natural infill patented by Italgreen made mostly of vegetal fibers and minerals.
"From a coaching standpoint, the training field is the foundation of what we do and, in many ways, is so much more important than the game field. It is our classroom," said head women's soccer coach Smith. "To have the cornerstone of our program, the training field, to be a perfect surface every single day we come out here is something that we as coaches are really looking forward to. We are going to develop many champions and many championship teams right here on this field."
Rast, the head men's soccer coach, echoed Smith's sentiments. "This field gives us an opportunity to reach out to the community and bring others back here to develop amongst the model of what we try to do at the University, which is developing champions, right here, on the best field that is available today."