The Broncos men’s and women’s soccer teams are getting a kick out of their new turf after the renovation of two practice fields.
Prior to the refurbishment of Activity Fields 1 and 3, the Facilities Planning & Management department’s Landscape Services team had their work cut out for them because of the change in seasons.
In winter, the turf usually becomes a dull brown. Normally, the landscaping team would overseed the fields, allowing new grass to sprout and keep the turf green during the winter. However, as the old turf wore out, this became ineffective.
“The transition didn’t happen, and over the years, the cool season turf species stuck around. Even though we weren’t overseeding anymore in the fall for winter, we ended up with a real hodgepodge,” said Brian Lake, interim manager of Landscape Services. “Visibly, it was different shades of green everywhere.
“Then, also for the soccer play, it was not a consistent playing surface because the play is a little bit different on the different turf species. That was the problem,” Lake said.
COVID-19 emptied the campus and the damaged fields, allowing the landscape team an opportunity to replenish the turf. “The pandemic gave us a big window because there would have been rentals for this, activities, events, this and that, and we wouldn’t have had that window to do that,” Lake added.
The six-month turf project required a team effort. Lead grounds worker Michael Miller from the South Campus crew enlisted help from the irrigation and equipment departments. The multi-stage project necessitated the removal of the old turf, hydroseeding, and flail mowing, which is the trimming of the new grass inch by inch for three months.
Sarah Macias, the facilities and events coordinator in the CPP Athletic Department, was thrilled with the results.
“We, as in the two programs, respect the field. You ask a lot of the field. You play on it. You tear it up, and at the end of the day, you help in maintaining it,” Macias said. “I would also say that it is one of the best playing surfaces in the conference.”
The Broncos men’s soccer team had an incredible run during the 2018-2019 season, winning the California Collegiate Athletic Association’s regular season conference championship. The women’s soccer team also had a successful season, making an appearance at the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s tournament.
The teams started their seasons on Sept. 2. As of Sept. 25, the men’s team has a record of 3-2-1 while the women’s squad has a mark of 3-2.
Because the pandemic wiped out a season, the teams were eager to get back on the fields.
“The soccer teams didn’t get to play. So, at least when they came back for 2021, they had a new practice field,” Lake said. “So, that was one good thing that happened out of a terrible thing.”