Sept. 4, 2009
STANFORD, Calif.- With just under four minutes remaining in the first half, Christina Cribbs and Richie Bologna of Stanford's Facilities, Operations and Events staff flipped a magic switch and provided a new and improved touch to the Varsity Turf.
Suddenly, the Stanford field hockey program was playing a game under the lights for the first time in school history.
That's because the 2009 campaign features the addition of lights to the facility, now in its 12th year as the Cardinal's home digs. The lights are from the old Stanford Stadium, which was demolished in 2005. The field hockey program has had them for over a year, and was able to raise enough money to put them in place.
Four towers (90-foot poles) containing 30 1500-watt metal Halide Fixtures light the playing field. The poles feature the Total Light Control (TLC) visors, which efficiently direct light onto the playing surface while reducing the off-site glare to surrounding areas.
"I would just like to express my appreciation to all of the people who helped make this night possible," said head coach Lesley Irvine, who added that Stanford practiced under the lights on Thursday night in order to prepare for Friday. "Tonight was a great atmosphere with the crowd and we hope it's like this for the rest of our night games."
One of six true seniors on the Cardinal roster, Midori Uehara also enjoyed the moment.
"This is a dream come true and the seniors have waited four years for this," said Uehara. "We love playing at night and it gives everyone a good vibe. It's great because more of our fans can come support us as opposed to day games, which sometimes have awkward starting times and people are either at work or in class."
Former goalkeeper Madison Bell (2004-07) was one of several alums on hand to witness the action under the lights.
"When they came on late in the first half, I was like `wow, they weren't kidding!", said Bell. "The atmosphere is so much better playing at night. It was cool to see something that we talked about and fundraised for finally come to fruition."
Aside from the temperature dipping, the action on the field was essentially no different with the lights on. The Cardinal scored the game's only goal in the first half when the lights were off. Stanford goalkeeper Alessandra Moss noted that once the first-half glare from the sun subsided, everything was back to normal.
"I thought it was fantastic; the atmosphere and energy from the crowd was outstanding," said Moss, who added that playing in cooler weather at night is a welcomed change to sweating out an afternoon in goalie pads.