Dowling College Begins Construction of Athletic Fields at Brookhaven Campus
Project Includes Multi-purpose Stadium, Baseball, Softball Complex
What may be the longest road trip in sports history is close to an end. This week the roar of bulldozers marked initial work on a series of athletic fields at Dowling College's Brookhaven Campus in Shirley, meaning that a home field advantage for the College's athletics teams - nearly 40 years in the making - will become reality in just a few months.
The $12.5 million initiative includes the building of a multi-purpose stadium and a baseball and softball complex. The Golden Lions men's and women's soccer, men's and women's lacrosse, baseball and softball teams are all expected to take the field in spring, 2007. During the next few months 12 acres of land will be cleared and leveled.
"These fields are not only a welcome home for our tremendous athletic teams, but a resource for the entire surrounding community," said Robert J. Gaffney, president of Dowling College. "We thank the Town of Brookhaven and the many civic and community groups in the Shirley, Mastic, and Yaphank areas, which have been most helpful and gracious in our meetings with them during the past several months."
The multi-purpose stadium, which will host lacrosse and soccer games, will have a seating capacity of 2,500, while the baseball field will seat 750, and the softball field, 500. All fields will be composed of FieldTurf, a synthetic turf system in place at many professional and college facilities across the country. In all, more than 285,000 square feet of FieldTurf will be used in the project. The need for additional athletics facilities at the site will continue to be assessed.
"With our men's soccer team ranked number-one in the nation, our men's lacrosse team coming off a season in which they appeared in the NCAA Championship game, and with a new women's soccer program and the planned launch of women's lacrosse in 2007, this is the perfect time to celebrate the creation of new fields," commented Rick Cole, Jr. Director of Athletics.
In recent years, Dowling College has become one of the most successful NCAA Division II athletic programs in the Northeast and has risen to prominence on the national scene. Dowling sponsors 16 sports - 14 of which compete under the NCAA umbrella - and is an original member of the East Coast Conference (formerly the New York Collegiate Athletic Conference). Dowling's NCAA sports include baseball, men's and women's basketball, women's rowing, women's cross-country, men's golf, men's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's tennis, and volleyball. In addition, Dowling sponsors a successful men's crew team and co-ed equestrian team.
In the fall of 2005, Dowling's men's soccer team clinched the regular season title and made their eighth appearance in the NCAA Tournament, while the women's soccer team's impressive 8-6 inaugural campaign culminated with an appearance in the semifinals of the ECAC Tournament. Dowling's volleyball squad captured the NYCAC Championship last season and made its first-ever trip to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division II Volleyball Championships. The spring of 2005 saw baseball take home the NYCAC regular season and tournament championships, while the softball team won the NYCAC tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Division II Northeast Regional Tournament. The women's rowing, and men's tennis teams earned NCAA regional bids in the spring as well.
Dowling is a two-time recipient of the NYCAC Commissioner's Cup, which is awarded annually to the conference's most outstanding overall athletic program.
About Dowling College
Dowling College is an independent, coeducational college that serves more than 6,500 students at
its historic Rudolph Campus on the banks of the Connetquot River in Oakdale, NY, and the 105-acre
Brookhaven Campus in eastern Long Island and a business center located near the Nassau-Suffolk
border in Melville. Dowling offers Bachelor′s, Master′s, and Doctoral degrees in several
disciplines through its four schools: Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business, and Education.