Marquette soccer's new digs
By Jessie Bazan, Comm '14 | Photos by Maggie Casey
Above: Soccer jerseys hang on display inside the new locker room. Below: Soccer players Lindsey Page (left) and Taylor Madigan celebrate the opening of the new pavilion.
After years of congregating in a tent on the sidelines, Marquette's soccer players have plenty of reasons to be excited about this new place.
Marquette recently dedicated the new Klein Family/KBS Soccer Pavilion, a $1.2 million facility that Men's Head Coach Louis Bennett describes as "a fantastic boost" for the men's and women's programs. This spacious, state-of-the-art pavilion located at Valley Fields features locker rooms for the teams and officials, a training room and spectator restrooms.
Sophomore midfielder Charlie Hoover is thrilled to no longer have to lug equipment down to the valley every day and to have a place to gather at halftimes or recover from an injury. "It creates a whole new atmosphere within the stadium that will definitely impact our hype when game day arrives," Hoover says.
The women's team is equally excited. "I think that the new facilities will provide a greater experience for the players and fans and hopefully attract recruits," says senior defender Kerry McBride.
Beyond game days, the pavilion makes the daily routine a little easier for both teams. "It will be very convenient for our athletes to show up at Valley Fields, let themselves into the building, and either collect their gear, change or use the restroom and shower areas," says Women's Head Coach Mark Roeders. "It is a lot more efficient, and we will be able to maximize our training and take full advantage of our daily routine down there."
The facility boost comes at a time when both teams are rapidly climbing the ranks of Big East soccer. Last year the Marquette men qualified for the conference tournament for the second consecutive year after earning the sixth seed during the regular season, while the women enjoyed one of their most successful years after advancing to the NCAA tournament's Sweet Sixteen.
The pavilion's chief donors were Dennis Klein, Bus Ad '73, and his wife, Barbara, Bus Ad '72, who have been longtime supporters of Marquette soccer. Bennett says their commitment means a lot.
"The identity and the perception is that we're moving forward," he says. "The Klein family really cares about what goes on with Marquette and Marquette soccer, which is fantastic. It just makes you feel responsible for dishing out the best product you possibly can. When people are willing to back that with this kind of donation, it makes you feel good about what you're doing."