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    The men's soccer team played its first game under the lights against Millsaps Oct. 7. (Photo by Lucas Adams)
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    Lights also have been installed on the path leading to the soccer/lacrosse field.
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    Workers make the final adjustments on one of the light poles that was installed on the varsity soccer/lacrosse field.

New lighting enables soccer, lacrosse teams to play at night

Southwestern’s soccer and lacrosse teams will soon be embarking on a new era of competition: night games. Thanks to a generous donation from current parents, the Athletic Department has installed lights on the soccer/lacrosse competition field as well as on the nearby pedestrian walkway and parking lot.

Lights will allow the teams to practice and compete on the field later into the evening, reducing the amount of class time missed by student athletes. Night games will also improve the fan experience for students and community members, and elevate the competition environment for Pirate athletes.

“This addition will take the program to an even higher level as the night venue will be a significant boost to recruiting and to student and fan attendance,” said Men’s Soccer Coach Don Gregory. “It has been a dream for quite a while to play under the lights, and now ‘hitting the switch’ will be a reality.”

An additional gift from a former Southwestern athlete provided funds to run a fiber optic cable to the field. This will allow the University to broadcast the games live online.

The first night game is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 7, and can be viewed live online through www.collegetvticket.com. A brief dedication ceremony for the new lights is planned for 6:45 p.m. on Oct. 21, between the women’s and men’s soccer games as the teams take on SCAC opponent Hendrix College at 5 and 7 p.m. respectively.

Glada Munt, director of intercollegiate athletics, noted that the new lights will be used judiciously to stay in line with Southwestern’s energy conservation and green initiatives. In the past few years, Southwestern has added new scoreboards to the softball and soccer/lacrosse fields that, when combined with the new baseball scoreboard, still use less electricity than the former baseball scoreboard alone.