STEPHENVILLE – Come August, the studs on the cleats of the starting 11 at Tarleton’s inaugural home soccer game will grip and twist against a first-class playing surface.
A new layer of synthetic turf was recently added to the Tarleton Soccer Complex as the program gears up for its debut Division I season.
Tarleton installed Hellas Matrix Real Synthetic Turf across the 137,000 square feet playing surface.
“This is an exciting time for Tarleton soccer,” head coach Pete Cuadrado said. “I appreciate all the support from our President Dr. James Hurley, Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Lonn Reisman and the administration at Tarleton for allowing this renovation to materialize. That’s been the exciting part of joining the Tarleton athletics family. Things are getting done the right way here. It’s definitely a big step forward for our program. Without their support, major projects like this don’t happen.”
Field dimensions correlate with standard pitch measurements. The playing surface is 120 yards long and 75 yards wide.
A purple border extends around the touchlines and goal lines. “Texans” is inscribed in Tarleton Bold font in a layer of dark green turf adjacent to both goalie boxes. Tarleton’s primary logo is displayed prominently across the center circle.
Tarleton soccer is the third intercollegiate athletics program to add Hellas Matrix Turf during the 2021-22 season. Both the Tarleton Baseball Complex and Tarleton Softball Complex installed the specialty turf as a part of renovation projects for each facility.
Already, Cuadrado said the playing surface is a game-changer.
“It plays great,” he said. “I’ve been impressed with the surface and how it truly does play like real grass. It bounces like real grass, and it doesn’t get hot. I think those are the three biggest elements of the new turf that are really special that a lot of playing surfaces don’t have right now.”
And the new turf firmly plants Tarleton soccer among the elite programs in the sport.
A multitude of professional teams recently installed Hellas Matrix Turf, such as Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs Atlanta United and Charlottee FC and the Colorado Springs Switchbacks of the United Soccer League. The Austin, Texas based company is also the synthetic turf provider for seven National Football League teams, including the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans.
The new playing surface was the most prudent facility upgrade to prepare Tarleton for its first season at Division I and as a member of the Western Athletic Conference. The Tarleton Soccer Complex is already equipped with stadium lighting, permanent seating and a scoreboard. The program is in the process of ordering new goals and benches among other enhancements.
The city of Stephenville and surrounding community will have their first opportunity to take in the new turf on Apr. 9 when Tarleton hosts a Future Texans Camp and Prospect ID Camp.