Daytona State College marked a new era in Falcon and community sports on Oct. 10 with a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating completion of its new 800-seat soccer stadium on the Daytona Beach Campus followed by exciting men’s soccer action.
And while the Falcons fell to rival Eastern Florida State College, it couldn’t dampen the spirit of community and pride that filled the autumn evening, which also featured an Employee Appreciation picnic for DSC faculty, staff and their families.
“I truly am honored to see so many DSC friends, soccer fans and community members here today to celebrate our inaugural season at this outstanding facility,” said DSC President Tom LoBasso. “While this stadium is home to our men’s and women’s soccer teams, it is also about community. This is a place where young athletes can dream, where parents can take pride in their kids’ passion for the sport, and where our community can come together in the spirit of friendly competition.”
The stadium also will serve as a venue for local soccer clubs, school groups and other community partners. It will become a hub for soccer clinics, prep and club sports, as well as for college activities such as a Homecoming tailgate party slated for Saturday, Oct. 21, and movie nights to be hosted throughout the year by the Student Government Association.
Tuesday’s celebration featured stadium tours, mementos and refreshments prior to the match. During halftime, the Seabreeze High School men's soccer team was recognized with a short film recapping their 2017 state championship, shown on the stadium's high-definition video scoreboard.
DSC Athletic Director Will Dunn said the new stadium marks a milestone for the college, noting that it “symbolizes our institutional growth and commitment to our students, staff and community.”
Forough Hosseini, chair of the DSC District Board of Trustees, lauded the athletes for their dedication to academics as well as their sport. “DSC athletes continue to be among the very top academic students, not only at our college, but among Florida students and even nationally,” she noted. “We are very proud of them for making academics a top priority.”
The stadium also serves as a learning laboratory for students pursuing the college’s new Associate of Science in Television Production degree. It offers a real-world practicum as students participate in live broadcasting of the soccer matches on the college’s public TV station, WDSC 15. The new degree meets one of Team Volusia's targeted industries, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects to see over 500 annual broadcast job openings in Florida over the next decade, and up to 40 openings a year in Volusia and Flagler counties.
DSC launched its soccer program last year, playing its first-season home matches at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University while the new Falcon soccer stadium was being constructed. The DSC teams fielded a strong showing in their first season, with six Falcons earning All-Region honors. Under Coach Bart Sasnett, the men's team earned Region 8 and Southeast District championships and an appearance at the NJCAA National Tournament in Tyler, Texas, where they advanced through the quarter finals before being eliminated by No. 2 seed Monroe College. The women's team went 11-3 and was ranked among the NJCAA's top 20 teams, while Coach Brittany Jones was named Region 8 Coach of the Year.
The men’s team is 11-2 on the season, while the women’s soccer team, coming off a resounding 9-0 victory over ASA College in Miami on Tuesday, is 9-1.
The Falcons will host the NJCAA Men's Division 1 soccer national championship tournament at the new venue next year. The 15-game tournament will bring participants, their families and fans to town Nov. 12-17, 2018, for a week of play leading up to the championship game.
(Oct. 10, 2017)