Pioneer booters to host matches on blue turf this season

Blue is considered to be the favorite color of most people.

It is after all nature’s color of water and sky.

This upcoming fall, blue will be the featured color of the men’s and women’s soccer pitch at Marietta College.

“This is the last thing we’re doing on this (grass) field,” said MC men’s soccer coach Joe Bergin of this past week’s four-day Pioneer camp for boys and girls at Marietta Field. “The bulldozers are out in front of our building and this coming Monday morning (June 25), they’re going to tear it up. We’re going to turf it, and it’ll be blue, which is kind of a cool thing.

“We’re also widening the field so we’re going to take that and move it out a little bit. It’ll be 72 yards wide now.”

Bergin — who will be starting his sixth season at the helm this upcoming season — paused.

“Put yourself in an 18-year-old shoes, and they love it.” the coach continued. “They love the idea of blue turf.

“We had to get approval from Boise State, because they own the blue color trademark. We’re excited about that, and the boys are excited about playing on turf, because the grass field really suffered the last two years. Very bouncy.”

Even with a “bouncy grass pitch,” Marietta was 11-6-3 last season and 11-9-1 the year before. Still….

“I absolutely love turf,” said MC sophomore Robert Phillips, who led the Pioneers with six assists last season. “It lets you do so many more things out on the field. I can’t wait for it.”

Bergin gave a lot of credit to MC President and Dr. William Ruud and finance administrator Michelle Marra.

We owe a debt of gratitude to them,” he said. “They’ve made this happen.

“We also owe a little bit of gratitude to lacrosse to be honest with you.”

Marietta College men’s and women’s lacrosse is scheduled to make its debut as Pioneer varsity sports this upcoming season.

“If they hadn’t come in, there wouldn’t have been a need for the surface,” Bergin said. “We kind of got a little bit lucky.”

And, getting a new, blue pitch won’t be the only changes for the MC soccer programs.

“We’re getting lights,” Bergin said. “We’ll have night games, now.”

Oh, yes, the Pioneer soccer offices, locker rooms, and weight room will now be at the McCoy Athletic Facility on North 7th Street. The McCoy building used to house the football program.

The MC men’s soccer team is scheduled to play its first five matches of the 2018 campaign on the road this season. Its home opener on the turf against The College of Wooster is slated for Sept. 15 at a time to be announced.

“It (blue turf) will be done in time for our games,” Bergin said.

Ron Johnston is a Marietta Times sports writer, and can be reached at rjohnston@mariettatimes.com

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