Exhibition soccer matches mark dedication of Burnham Field

by Stephen Preefer | 4/24/08 3:03am

The College marked the dedication of Burnham Field and the adjoining Sports Pavillion, which will serve both Burnham Field and the nearby Scully-Fahey Field, with two exhibition soccer matches and festivities for donors and alumni involved in the project last weekend.

The new field has been dedicated to Alden "Whitey" Burnham '46. Burnham coached soccer, wrestling and lacrosse at Dartmouth from 1960 to 1969 and served as an administrator at the College until 1989.

Burnham Field and the Sports Pavilion are the two newest additions in the College's ongoing renovation of its athletic facilities.

Burnham Field, which seats 1,600 spectators, is built to NCAA standards, which will allow Dartmouth to host NCAA tournament games. The field boasts an all-natural surface with a state-of-the-art drainage system to maintain the pitch. The stadium also has field lighting, a public address system, a scoreboard and a press box.

The 4,200 square-foot Sports Pavilion houses locker rooms that will be used by the men's and women's soccer and lacrosse teams, and there are plans to expand the facility to accommodate sports medicine facilities.

"Within a few weeks, the entire complex will be completed, giving Dartmouth soccer a state-of-the-art and gorgeous facility for the first time in the College's history," Randy Meck, interim director of the Dartmouth College Athletic Department facilities, said. "It is a facility that will help our soccer teams compete at the highest levels and allow Dartmouth to host NCAA Regional competition in the future."

For the last few years, Dartmouth's soccer teams have competed on Chase Field and Sachem practice fields. The Burnham complex will be a permanent site for these teams' practices and matches.

Following formal dedication ceremonies, the men's and women's soccer teams continued their spring schedules last weekend against the University of Notre Dame and the University of Virginia, respectively.

The men's team lost 2-0 to Notre Dame, a team that was ranked sixth in the nation at the end of last season.

On the women's side, the Big Green lost 1-0 to Virginia. The Cavaliers finished last season ranked eighth in the country among Division I programs.

The exhibition games drew prominent Dartmouth soccer alumni to Hanover.

Notre Dame men's head coach Bobby Clark coached the Big Green from 1985 to 1993, earning three Ivy League championships in his career at Dartmouth. UVA women's head coach Steven Swanson coached the Dartmouth women's team from 1990 to 1995 and claimed two Ivy titles.

The teams hope that spring schedules will prove useful to the programs, as spring competition gives younger players game experience and a chance to develop while also preparing the team for the fall season.

On the men's side, the Big Green started seven freshmen. Dartmouth was forced to bench standout midfielder Daniel Keat '10 because of a serious leg injury. "We lost 2-0 and we always want to win," midfielder Brendan Lane '11 said. "But we played really well and hung with them most of the game. It was more impressive because we started seven freshmen and both of their goals were scored off set pieces, but we played really, really well."

A full slate of official events took place over the course of the weekend, marking the dediciation of the new field.

On Friday afternoon, Dartmouth invited donors to the grounds to tour the new facilities. The official dedication was given by Dean of the College Tom Crady. College President James Wright and Dartmouth trustee Brad Evans '64 also made remarks.

Monica Martin de Bustamante '08, a member of the women's soccer team, and Jeff Cook, head coach of the men's soccer team, spoke on behalf of Dartmouth student athletes and the soccer program.

Stan Smoyer '34, the lead donor to the new facilities, spoke later that night at a ceremonial dinner, presided over by Athletic Director Josie Harper. Smoyer thanked Burnham for his contributions to Dartmouth athletics.

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