Fetzer Field

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Fetzer Field
UNC Women's Soccer.jpg
Full name Irwin Belk Track at Fetzer Field
Location South Rd, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
Opened 1935
Renovated 1988-1990
Owner University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Operator University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Surface Field: Natural Grass
Track: Full-Depth Polyurethene ISS 2000 Encapsulated
Capacity 5,025
Tenants
North Carolina Tar Heels (NCAA) 1935-

Fetzer field a sports field located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and home field to the lacrosse and soccer teams of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The four teams that call Fetzer field their home have a combined total of 26 National championships.

Construction[edit]

Fetzer field was built in 1935.[1] The original part of the complex, including the track, grandstand and field were built in 1935 as a part of the governments Works Projects Administration (WPA). The construction provided countless jobs to the people living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Renovations began in 1988 when the playing field was redone and several additions were added. These additions included two new ticket booths, new bleachers and a concession stand.[1]

History of the Teams[edit]

The first team to play on the field was the men's soccer team after its inception in 1947. They would play alone for two years until the inception of the men's lacrosse team in 1949. These teams would call Fetzer home for three decades before the women's soccer team was created in 1979. At the time 24 year old Anson Dorrance was named head coach of both the men's and women's soccer teams. He would continue to coach both teams until 1989 when he started solely coaching the women's soccer team. Dorrance is still the women's coach, and the winning soccer coach in the nation.[1]

Notable Players[edit]

Fetzer field has been played on by multiple players that would eventually play professionally or for the National team. Fetzer field is especially famous for its women's soccer players. The following players have been named National player of the year for women's soccer: April Heinrichs- 1984 1986, Shannon Higgins- 1988 1989, Kristine Lilly- 1990 1991, Mia Hamm- 1992 1993, Tisha Venturini- 1994, Debbie Keller- 1995 1996, Stacie Wilson- 1995, Cindy Parlow- 1996 1997 1998, Robin Confer- 1997, Lorrie Fair- 1999, Meredith Florence- 2000, Lindsay Tarpley- 2003, Catherine Reddick- 2003, Heather O'Reilly- 2006, Yael Averbuch- 2006, Casey Nogueira- 2008, Whitney Engen- 2009 [2] In the 2011 Women's world cup two UNC women's soccer players, Tobin Heath and Heather O'Reilly, saw the playing field. In December 2011 six former Tar Heels; Tobin Heath, Heather O'Reilly, Yael Averbuch, Ashlyn Harris, Megan Klingenberg, were called up to play at the National Team camp.[3] All these players spent their collegiate career at Fetzer field and regularly come back to watch games played there.

Legacy[edit]

Fetzer Field does not see many losses overall. It is most famous for being the home of the UNC women's soccer team. With the University of North Carolina Women's soccer team, Dorrance has created one of the most winning sports dynasties of all time.[citation needed] Three teams (both soccer and men's lacrosse) that play on Fetzer have earned at least one national championship. In its 32 years of existence the women's soccer team has won 21 of the National Championships in the sport. The most recent was in 2009. The men's soccer team has won two national championships; the men's lacrosse team has won four national championship since its inception.[4] Many of the most famous women's soccer players have attended the University of North Carolina. Mia Hamm, arguably the most famous women's soccer of all time,[citation needed] played on Fetzer field for four years. Also, since 1957 the men's soccer team has not had a losing season.[5] In 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 the men's soccer team made it to the NCAA final four, and in 2011 advanced to the National Championship. The men's lacrosse team made it to the NCAA quarterfinals in 2009 and 2010. Under current Coach Breschi is[clarification needed] 20-1 at Fetzer field as of the 2011 season.[6] The women's lacrosse team advanced to the NCAA final four in 2009 and 2010.[7] The success of the sports teams has helped Fetzer become a recognizable name in college athletics.[citation needed]

Attendance[edit]

Fetzer field has continually ranked in the top five attendance each year in the NCAA. The record crowd for Fetzer Field was 7,212 people in 1995, who watched the women's soccer team lose to Notre Dame in the semifinals. The highest attended regular season game occurred in 1998 when the Tar Heels defeated Notre Dame 5-1 with 6,024 people in attendance. In the 2011 NCAA elite eight men's soccer game against St. Mary's College Fetzer Field officially sold out.[1]

McCaskill Soccer Center and Belk Track[edit]

In 1997 the 'soccer hut' used for both soccer teams at UNC was leveled, making way for a new soccer building. Athletic director Dick Baddour agreed that the soccer hut was out of date and needed to be updated. The new building would be named McCaskill after Bud and Mildred McCaskill, dedicated donors to UNC. McCaskill was dedicated in 1999. The building has locker rooms for both men and women's teams and offices for both coaches. It was estimated the project cost the school roughly 1.7 million dollars.[5] The building is located at the North corner of Fetzer Field and Belk track. Belk track was installed in 1988 during the reconstruction of Fetzer Field. It is Carolina Blue in color and is an international style track.[5]

Other Uses[edit]

Fetzer Field is also home to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association track and field state championships. It has also hosted the Junior Olympics.[1] Several foundations host fundraisers on Fetzer. Mia Hamm, former UNC women's soccer player and founder of the Mia Hamm foundation, has given a speech during the halftime of games in 2010 and 2011 to raise awareness for bone marrow donations. Also Relay for Life is annually hosted on Fetzer Field.[8]

References[edit]