|Posted November 13, 2009|
'Let there be light' at Rawlings Soccer Complex
The ThunderWolves men's and women's soccer programs will be able to play home games at night for the first time in program history in 2010 following the installation of lights at the Rawlings Soccer Complex.
The new lights are the first step of a facility re-organization project for the Rawlings Soccer Complex. In the coming years, the CSU-Pueblo Department of Athletics will attempt to secure funding for a variety of other projects, which may include new turf, stadium-seating and a new press/scoring area. Though no other projects are officially planned at the moment, the continued improvement of the facility is a top priority, Director of Athletics Joe Folda said.
"With new facilities for a number of our programs having been built the past few years, we are making our best effort to renovate and modernize the soccer complex," Folda said. "It won't happen all at once like it did at the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl or Massari Arena, but we are doing our best to follow through with this long overdue project."
The lights were made possible by funding from the CSU-Pueblo Associated Students' Government, which made soccer field lighting a priority in their facilities improvement budget on the campus. CSU-Pueblo ASG President, Steve Titus, said the addition of lights can change a lot in both the health of the soccer program as well as campus culture.
"We felt we had to do our best to make facilities resources available for our top athletics programs," Titus said. "You can go to a night game for any CSU-Pueblo sport except soccer, and having night games be possible gets fans to stay on campus Friday nights into Saturday afternoons for football games, and that can go a long way to improving the community on campus."
The addition of lights can spell instant success for the men's and women's soccer programs, men's coach Roy Stanley and women's coach Janet Cassidy said. Stanley, who had been coaching at CSU-Pueblo since 1994, says new lights is one of the most exciting additions to the soccer program.
"The ability to play some Friday night soccer games is a huge thing for us," Stanley said. "It can help us in three different areas - making the student-athlete experience more exciting; it can take away potential conflicts with class on a Friday afternoon; and provide the community with opportunities to view high-level collegiate soccer."
An opening night under the lights is planned for the 2010 men's and women's soccer season, though plans are pending the release of the 2010 schedules.