The Virginia Tech men’s soccer team calls Thompson Field its home. Located across from Lane Stadium, the Hokies’ football home, Thompson Field was completed in the fall of 2003 and dedicated in 2008 in the name of Sandra D. Thompson, a longtime supporter of women’s athletics at Virginia Tech. The complex also serves as the home for Tech’s women’s soccer team and the lacrosse team.
The facility has been the venue for some exciting Tech men’s soccer in recent years. In 2011, Tech stunned then-No. 1 North Carolina 1-0 in two overtimes for its first ever home victory over a No. 1-ranked opponent. In 2009, the Hokies downed then-No. 16 N.C. State 2-0 at Thompson Field, and in 2004, Tech beat then-No. 2 Virginia 2-1 at home. In 2003, Tech knocked off then-No. 10 Rutgers 2-1 in overtime and No. 6 St. John’s 2-1, both at Thompson Field.
But the 2007 season is the one most Tech fans will remember. Early in that season, Tech tied then-No. 1 Wake Forest 3-3 in two overtimes, which marked the only blemish on the Hokies’ home slate that season. The Hokies went 7-0-1 at Thompson Field in 2007, including two wins in the NCAA Championships after securing a bid to host. Tech beat California 3-2 at Thompson Field in the first round of those NCAA Championships and then knocked of Old Dominion 1-0 in the second round. Tech went all the way to the College Cup that season before falling to Wake Forest 2-0 in the national semifinals.
In 2007, Tech averaged 1,661 fans per game, the 15th-highest average in the country. On Oct. 6, 2006, the No. 19 Hokies set a single-match attendance mark when they took on No. 2 Virginia at Thompson Field, playing in front of 2,711 spectators. More than 2,052 fans witnessed the 2011 victory over No. 1 North Carolina. The Hokies also brought in large crowds during the 2008 season for home games, including 1,791 people against Duke on Sept. 12 and a crowd of 1,711 against Virginia on Sept. 26.
The complex features a bluegrass playing surface and measures approximately 75 by 120 yards. It is equipped with an underground irrigation system and a drainage system that allows for the field to be ready for play quickly following rainstorms. The complex also features a wireless scoreboard, and a permanent Hubbell lighting system allows for night games.
The athletics department has made improvements gradually since the venue opened in 2003. In 2005, workers completed a new restroom facility for the field, and during the summer of 2008, a new game operations center was erected atop the stadium above the fans. The approximately 900-square foot facility includes two broadcast booths, two covered areas available for broadcasting and/or videographers’ cameras, and a large working area for media covering the Hokies.
The climate-controlled facility also contains a state-of-the-art sound system and Ethernet capability. The Internet-ready facility allows Tech’s official athletics website, hokiesports.com, to originate live audio broadcasts and live stats of the Hokies’ matches from the press box. Above the grandstand is a wired camera deck, which is accessible to all media.
Between each team’s bench area is the Sandy D. Thompson Press Box. Formerly the press operations center for the field, the facility is now used as a halftime room for game officials and as an auxiliary area for press and game operations.
Thompson Field, which has been expanded since it was opened, now features approximately 2,028 bench-back seats, where each fan has an unobstructed view of the playing surface. Spacious area around the field allows for nearly 1,500 more fans to watch games.
Adjacent to Thompson Field are two practice fields that allow the Tech men’s soccer program to train while reducing the wear and tear on the playing field. One of these practice fields features artificial turf, which allows for practicing during inclement weather and for preparing for opponents who hold their games on artificial turf fields.
The improvements over the years, the enthusiasm of the fan base and the play on the field make Thompson Field one of the best venues in the ACC to watch soccer.