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Friday night double-header set to kick off Lynn stadium era
By Noah Allison
After a long year of construction the standard of collegiate soccer stadiums is set to open. This upcoming Friday night double-header, pinning Louisville’s women against Ole Miss and the men against Maryland, will be the dawning of the Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium era.
The opening of the $18.5 million Lynn stadium coincides with the University of Louisville’s inaugural season in the Atlantic Coast Conference and the conclusion of this past summer’s FIFA World Cup. A collection of momentum building events that furthers the upward trajectory that both U of L and its soccer programs are on.
“When you actually walk through it, and see it, and stand inside it, then it’s even bigger and better than what you had imagined. When you open up those doors and see the field and see the stadium; that is a wow factor for sure,” women’s head coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes explains.
Lynn Stadium does not simply pass the eye-test for its splendor though; its design will help make for one of the best home-field advantages in the nation. In total the seating capacity allows for over 5,300 fans to attend the game including 2,300 chairbacked seats under the noise-containing roof.
“Playing in your home field is always an advantage because of the familiarity,” men’s head coach Ken Lolla said. “What helps immediately is having 5,000 Louisville soccer fans there despite what field we are playing on.”
On the far end of the field where the players’ tunnel releases are bleachers. This area, designated as the student section, has the capacity to hold 900 die-hard Cards.
“I’m excited to be coming out under the student section and see what that’s going to be like,” men’s junior mid-fielder Andrew Brody said. “Hopefully that place can be really rowdy, coming out under that can just give us so much momentum for the start of the game. I hope it’s filled and really noisy and creates a bit of an intimidation factor.”
There is a buzz in the air of Louisville soccer like never before, both men and women’s soccer has achieved great heights on the field but now Card Nation is ready to watch and ready to win.
“I think the timing is great, with the momentum of the World Cup and the excitement and enthusiasm. We’ve seen it in season ticket sales and in our camps over the summer, just genuine excitement for the sport,” Lolla said.
“With the world cup coming to an end everybody is in a soccer mood and ready to come out,” Brody said. “Hopefully we can give it to the fans, win some games and show them why this stadium was built for us.”