Xaviers soccer teams soon will be preparing for the fall season on their home field for the first time thanks to a renovation of the soccer complex on campus.
The complete overhaul of the field involves the installation of FieldTurfwhich boasts the latest technology in artificial surface systemsto replace the natural grass surface. The surface should be ready in time for soccer practices to begin in early August.
Mike Bobinski, Xavier associate vice president and director of athletics, says the new turf brings a long list of benefits. I am excited for our student athletes, first and foremost, because it will not only give them an on-campus place to practice, but also a first-class venue for their games and a safer venue for both.
Bobinski says the installation of the durable new surface could help expand the use of the soccer complex to other events, including Xavier intramural sports as well as outside high school soccer clubs. Also, the new field is longer and wider than the original one.
Xavier researched a number of surface options but decided on FieldTurf because of its track record of safety and stability, Bobinski says. FieldTurf is the originator of artificial surface systems that replicate the playing surfaces of natural grass, provide increased player comfort and safety, and offer field managers lower maintenance costs and extended usage opportunities. FieldTurf uses a tall grass-like fiber that replicates the look, feel and playing characteristics of grass. These fibers are durable, yet are soft with a low abrasion index so an athlete wont get turf burn from sliding on the surface. The fibers are supported with FieldTurfs patented infill, a combination of cryogenic rubber (ground up tennis shoes and recycled tire rubber) and silica sand.
FieldTurfs recent high profile projects include Giants Stadium, the Georgia Dome, and stadiums at the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin. The company has completed 700 projects all over the world.
The Xavier womens soccer team opens its home regular season schedule on the new field on Friday, Aug. 29, at 7:00 p.m. against Miami (Ohio), while the mens team opens its regular season home schedule on Sunday, Sept. 14, against Cleveland State at 3:00 p.m.