By Jill Spotz

Lafayette soccer friends, family, and fans are now able to watch their favorite team in a new venue at Metzgar Fields Athletic Complex. The College dedicated Gummeson Grounds: Home of Mike Bourger ’44 Field at Oaks Stadium at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Aug. 25 prior to the men’s match against UMass-Lowell. The women’s team played its home opener at the new stadium Aug. 20, which also included a Community Day for Lehigh Valley youth. 

The new stadium, inspired by an old English-style soccer venue, was filled with students and fans for the Friday evening match. Spectators are now able to watch matches under roof-covered seating with chair backs. The facility, which is now the premier soccer venue in the Patriot League, also features a new press box, tiered outdoor terraces for additional viewing, and a new irrigation system. 

The stadium was made possible through a lead gift from Peter Gummeson ’80 and brought to the finish line by the collective generosity of many alumni, parents, and friends who supported the project since it first came to fruition in 2022. 

“As someone who spent his playing days typically out in a field or occasionally at the football stadium (we did play a few times at Fisher), I wanted to change that and move the program forward and create a home, a real home stadium of our own, and facilitate home field advantage,” said Gummeson at the dedication. “Since building on campus wasn’t feasible, we needed to create a desirable destination for students, alumni, parents, and local fans. There’s no home field advantage without supporters. So we needed a destination.”

Supporters gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony under the new Gummeson Grounds arch. Lafayette President Nicole Hurd and Athletics Director Sherryta Freeman were joined by Jim Benjamin ’84, men’s soccer coach Dennis Bohn, and women’s soccer coach Mick Staham at the ceremony.

“Today is about vision,” said President Hurd during her remarks. “Peter’s vision inspired our community to look at this space and dream a much bigger dream; to take it to a whole new level…He told me in the ’70s and ’80s this was a field of dreams. We are here today because of Peter’s vision and the commitment of those who have invested in our student-athletes. This is now a field of reality. It is time for this to be a space of championships.”

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