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Field Hockey Unveils New State-of-the-Art Playing Surface

Oct. 22, 2013

ATHENS, Ohio – Under head coach Neil Macmillan, the Ohio University field hockey program has enjoyed unprecedented success in the Mid-American Conference.

Now in the ninth season of Macmillan’s tenure, the Bobcats have a brand new, state-of-the-art field to reflect that success and provide a dazzling new home for the program.

After a period of extensive renovations this summer, the new and improved Pruitt Field opened to rave reviews from student-athletes, fans and coaches this past Saturday, when the Bobcats took on Central Michigan in the team’s home opener. “It’s surreal - I feel like I’m in a dream right now,” senior Katherine Fenzel said prior to Saturday’s match. “The field looks incredible and we’re so excited to play on it.”

The new turf was designed and installed by AstroTurf, which is the official artificial surface provider of both USA Field Hockey and the National Field Hockey Coaches Association.

It’s an AstroTurf 90 surface, which combines the traditional knitted nylon top cloth with a 3/8th inch Armacell pad. The field also features a brand new “E Layer” in between the top surface and base, which contributes to improved performance on the playing area.

“The new turf provides us with an excellent, consistent surface,” head coach Neil Macmillan said. “It’s flat, very level and uniform across the board. That allows us to be definite with our skills, in terms of giving and receiving passes and moving the ball across the field.”

In addition to providing a high-quality surface for the Bobcats to train and compete, the field also features an exterior design that showcases the Ohio University athletics brand in a unique and eye-catching way.

“Appearance wise, I think this is a fantastic facility,” Macmillan said. “A lot of the credit can go to Jim Schaus for coming up with the lettering behind the goals - which looks really sharp - as well as the black out-of-bounds area. It frames the field well and really brings out the field hockey lines.”

Now that it’s complete, the Ohio University field hockey program can look forward to calling a state-of-the-art playing surface home for years to come.

“[Assistant Coach] Pam [Spuehler] and I have played on a lot of turfs in the United States and internationally, and this is right up there,” Macmillan said. “It’s one of the best we’ve played on and the final product is fantastic. It’s world class.”