Thursday, September 4, 2008

Play Ball

Princeton's 38 varsity teams and roughly 1,000 student-athletes combine for more than 600 contests in an average academic year. The first of these comes up Friday when the women's and men's soccer teams kickoff their seasons.

The added dynamic this year, of course, is the brand-new facility, Myslik Field at Roberts Stadium. The construction of the stadium forced the teams into Princeton Stadium last year, though it appears that it was well worth the inconvenience.

The new stadium is stunning on first view, with its wide concourses, concession stands, upgraded seating, beautiful grass and turf fields, large scoreboard and magnificent plazas and permanent structures.

As with any new field, it will be interesting to see what dynamics come up in the course of play. What will end up being the preferred seating of the spectators? The seats at midfield are practically on the playing field, but the end zone seats give an amazing view, especially when play is right in front of that end.

There is also the trivia aspect of who scores the first goal in the new facility. For the record, Alex Sierk scored the first points in Princeton Stadium, when he kicked a pair of field goals in a 6-0 win over Cornell in the first football game of the 1998 season. Who will be the soccer equivalent?

Myslik Field at Roberts Stadium is going to be a huge hit with fans. The first opportunity is Friday afternoon/evening, when the women host Boston University at 5 followed by the men's game against Lehigh.

Admission to all regular-season soccer games is free.

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