After five years of construction, Geneseo’s new athletic stadium is completed. The stadium, opened on Sept. 1 with the women’s soccer team beating Alfred University 7-0, followed by the men’s soccer team topping the University of Rochester 1-0 in front of 1,500 people. According to athletic director Mike Mooney, seeing the completed stadium is a great feeling years in the making.
“It’s a fantastic feeling because over the years we’ve had such disappointments with delays … it was just kind of frustrating up until this point,” Mooney said. “Then when it all came together and we had that first night on Tuesday [Sept. 1] … I was absolutely amazed.”
The stadium is a colossal improvement by any account. The men’s and women’s soccer teams used to play their games on the grass field adjacent to the Saratoga townhouses. The field didn’t have the basic infrastructure needed to support more than a few dozen fans. According to junior midfielder Emily Green, the new stadium simply makes Geneseo look better.
“We were always a good team, but sometimes with our grass field we just didn’t look as good as we could have,” she said. “It’s really great to feel like we got rewarded for working so hard.”
Having a new stadium is an exciting thing for the athletes. Playing under the lights and in front of fans is invigorating and could lead to a higher level of play from student-athletes.
“It’s definitely exciting; even coming out for our warm up, the music was blasting and it gets us pumped up,” Green said.
Besides being aesthetically pleasing, the new turf field is beneficial to all varsity teams.
“It will have other benefits down the line,” Mooney said. “The intramural director is going to have ‘playoff week’ where they’re going to play all of their playoff games over in the stadium.”
Green has the unique honor of having scored the first ever goal in the new stadium. She said that it was a team effort, although she hadn’t thought about it too much.
“It was pretty cool, but it’s everybody’s goal,” she said. “I just tapped it in.”
The new stadium should also benefit the athletic department by way of recruiting. For years now, high school athletes were told that a new stadium was on its way to campus. Now, the finished product adds to the total package that is Geneseo.
“It’s definitely something to show off and it’s definitely something that’s going to draw more fans to our games, which is great,” Green said. “It’ll definitely help recruiting, but it’s all a big package and now it’s part of the package. We’ve got the NCAAs and we’ve got the new stadium so I think it’s really helping us.”
As a whole, the Geneseo athletic department has had a facelift in the past few months. Besides the new stadium, the locker rooms in Schrader Hall were renovated for a variety of different varsity teams. Although he’s happy with the progress, Mooney said that there is still room to grow.
““Long range, the hope is that maybe at some point [Mary Jemison Dining Hall] would be the workout center for campus,” Mooney said. “It’s right next to the College Union, it’s in the center of campus, people could come from all different directions instead of it being the last thing down the hill and make it a focal point for the campus.”