K-State Soccer Breaks Ground on Future Home
Fans, Founders Club members, K-State faculty and coaches of the newest K-State Athletics team joined together to celebrate the groundbreaking of the future home for Wildcat women's soccer.
"It's a very special day," said head women's soccer coach Mike Dibbini after breaking ground on the new fields. "This is a big commitment from our athletics department at K-State, so we're very excited."
The new soccer fields, located just south of Tointon Family Stadium, are planned to be completed by the summer of 2016 before the K-State women's soccer team competes in its debut season that fall.
"This is an exciting time," said Director of Athletics John Currie. "We're so grateful for our fans, our donors and all the folks that have helped make this happen and put us in a position where we can move forward in a world-class way for all of our student-athletes."
This new home for K-State women's soccer will feature two Bermuda grass fields where the former football practice fields were located and include a new irrigation and drainage system, lights, bleacher seating, a press facility, scoreboard and new decorative fencing.
"Bermuda grass is the ultimate soccer performance field," said Dibbini about the surface selected for the fields. "If you look down the street at other programs like KU and even Colorado, they have Bermuda fields. It's a natural feeling and effect; it helps the performance of the players. This really is a complete package."
Added Currie about the decision to go with Bermuda grass instead of artificial turf, "Even though there are a number of schools now using turf and kids growing up playing on turf, soccer is still intended and preferred to be played on grass. From a student-athlete's standpoint, for their atmosphere and experience, grass is the way to go."
An improvement for more than just the future soccer program, both the soccer team and the Wildcat football squad will have the opportunity to utilize the space, as the practice field on the east side will accommodate both sports.
And, with this year's football schedule playing solely on turf fields, it is perfect timing to improve the team's grass practice facilities.
"This fall we play no football games on grass. All 12 of our football games this year, both home and away, are on artificial surfaces, so really it's optimal to go ahead and do this project now to get the grass to grow," explained Currie. "We'll plant the grass in June, and that will enable us to have almost a full 12-month growing cycle. We're hoping for a hot summer with a little bit of rain into the fall, then it'll go dormant in the winter and it will come out of dormancy next spring when we really need to get on it for the first time. That will enable us to get a really strong root system going."
With construction underway at the new soccer facility and continuing at the Vanier Football Complex, it brings the department's total facility enhancements to $192 million following the openings of the West Stadium Center, Basketball Training Facility, Intercollegiate Rowing Center and Mike Goss Tennis Stadium.
"There are no tax dollars or university tuition dollars coming into this project," said Currie. "This project is another example of an impact that donors, people that buy tickets and the soccer Founder's Club is having on, not only on the young women of this program, but also on the economy of Manhattan."
K-STATE SOCCER FOUNDER'S CLUB
Created in February, the K-State Soccer Founders Club has continued to grow as it provides the unique opportunity for fans of the new program.
"The Founder's Club now has 558 members in 32 states, and that's pretty incredible for a sport that is not yet ready to take the field here at K-State," said Currie. "We're very excited about the fall of 2016 and our debut match."
Members receive Founder's Club exclusive T-shirts and scarves as well as the opportunity to be involved with the new soccer program on an entirely different level.
To find out more about the K-State Founder's Club and learn how you can get involved, please click here.
BASEBALL FALLS, 5-3, DESPITE SETTING UP NINTH-INNING RALLY
Despite being outhit, 16-5, K-State managed to put the game-tying run in scoring position in the ninth inning of Saturday's contest against Oklahoma, but four runs in the first four innings proved too much in a 5-3 loss at Tointon Family Stadium that evened the three-game series.
In a game that featured a 108-minute weather delay in the middle of the seventh inning, K-State (24-26, 8-12 Big 12) surrendered 16 hits to tie its season-high allowed in a game, but the Wildcat pitching staff forced the Sooners (31-22, 12-8 Big 12) to go 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and strand 11 on base to keep the game within three runs after the fourth.
"The line today -- you see five runs on 16 hits -- our pitchers did a great job of making a pitch when they had to make a pitch," said K-State head coach Brad Hill. "Normally when you see 16 hits on the board, there are going to be eight or nine runs. Our pitchers at least kept it close so our offense had a shot."
To continue reading about yesterday's game, please click here.