Waterhouse Field hosts collegiate soccer game

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Waterhouse Field hosts collegiate soccer game

Photo by Mikayla Titus.

Photo by Mikayla Titus.

Photo by Mikayla Titus.

Photo by Mikayla Titus.

Maria Gagnon, Staff Writer

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Waterhouse Field is becoming more than just a football field, and it’s captured the attention of coaches and sports teams around New England.

On April 27, soccer teams from Boston University and the University of Maine held a spring soccer game. Waterhouse Field was a perfect option to host the game as it was a midway point between the two schools.

“Believe it or not, but the University of Maine Orono coach came to Waterhouse Field to play a travel game through the Velocity Soccer program that uses many of the fields on Sundays,” said Athletic Director Dennis Walton. “He came down here with his daughter to play and saw how wonderful the field was.”

After scouting out the field, Walton said the UMaine soccer coach Scott Atherley decided that his team should make an appearance at Waterhouse Field.

“He contacted us and thought it would be a great facility to play at and be a good midway point between UMaine and Boston University,” Walton said.

The Division one soccer game was a great experience for the university coaches and their team.

“Our experience playing at Waterhouse Field was a terrific one. Playing in Southern Maine allows us to showcase our team to our fans, alumni and aspiring Black Bears who live in the greater Portland area,” said Scott Altherely, UMaine Women’s Soccer Coach. “Dennis Walton was a gracious host. He went out of his way to make certain that our visit to Biddeford was a favorable and positive one.”

The newly renovated facility at Waterhouse Field has drawn the attention from college teams and more.

“The Friday before the soccer game, we had the University of New England women’s rugby on that field,” said Walton. “I think one of the important things is that [when] we built this field one of the selling points was the use it was going to get and the variety we’d be able to bring to Waterhouse.”

Waterhouse Field was made to host a variety of sporting events and continues to do so.

“We’ve had Velocity soccer on there, youth lacrosse on there. And we’re going to have t-ball on that facility. We’ve had collegiate soccer, collegiate rugby,” said Walton. “So we’re really starting to reap the benefits of all the things you can do on there.”

The field is really starting to grow into something more.

“Anybody who comes to the field is blown away by how beautiful it is,” said Walton. “When you’re up in the booth with University of Maine personnel and they’re telling you how jealous they are of you, you know you’ve got a pretty good thing.”

Walton said he isn’t only grateful about the amazingly renovated facility, he’s also grateful for the opportunities that have come with it.

“It was great. It was fun to watch, and what was really cool is that looking down in the stands, I saw my boy’s soccer coach, my girl’s soccer coach, I saw soccer players, and Velocity players,” said Walton. “I think it was a real treat for the Biddeford soccer community. You could see in the stands where most of the people here watching this are soccer enthusiasts.”

Seeing the stands full of soccer fans and coaches put a smile on Walton’s face as he saw Waterhouse Field evolving.

“This use to be just a football field, now it is grown into so much more. We’re able to cater to not just football enthusiasts but soccer enthusiasts, lacrosse enthusiasts, and even rugby.”  Walton said.

Not only did this opportunity to host a collegiate game affect the exposure for the city of Biddeford, it also helped to contribute to what the field was built to do. It’s not just for football anymore, it’s now here to host any sporting event that may come.

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