Tribe Men's Soccer at Martin Family Stadium at Albert-Daly Field
The William and Mary men’s soccer program received a major facility upgrade in 2004 with the completion of Albert-Daly Field, an all-grass complex that gives the Tribe program the possibility of hosting NCAA Tournament games. Named for William and Mary’s long-time men’s and women’s soccer coaches, Al Albert and John Daly, the field is used by both soccer teams, as well as by the College’s lacrosse team. In its short time, Albert-Daly Field has become a home field advantage for the William and Mary men’s soccer program. The Tribe has enjoyed a 27-14-9 (.630) home record since competition began at the complex in 2004, including a 17-8-1 (.673) mark during the past three seasons.
“The new facility has enabled us to bring in the kind of teams we would play in the postseason-type environment, like UNC, Virginia Tech and Maryland,” head coach Chris Norris said. “It has allowed us to get top level programs to agree to play us in Williamsburg. It is a beautiful setting and I know it feels like home for the guys. It is a great situation. In terms of the field and the lighting, I feel like it stacks up against any field in our area.”
The Tribe received yet another facility upgrade in 2010. The new stadium — the Martin Family Stadium at Albert-Daly Field — named in honor of Eff and Patty Martin, and their children, Andrew, Christine and Julia ’09 — is a 1,000-seat pavilion, which features a state-of-the-art press box, filming positions and restroom facilities. The project will be completed in the spring of 2011.
Tribe head coach Chris Norris said of the donation, “The men’s soccer program is extremely grateful for the opportunities created by the Martin family’s generosity. The stadium allows us to attract top quality opponents to Williamsburg and provides us with a tremendous recruiting tool. It is going to significantly enhance our fan experience and will give our campus and the local community a great venue to enjoy for years to come.”
The previous home of the Tribe soccer teams was Busch Field, which features an artificial playing surface that prohibited the College from hosting NCAA tournament games. W&M’s men were forced to play their last 15 NCAA Tournament matches on the road or at a neutral site. The completion of Albert-Daly Field, one of the top soccer venues in the region, has nullified the circumstances that prevented the Tribe from hosting in the past.
That all changed for the Tribe in 2008, when the College hosted its first ever NCAA tournament game. The Green and Gold played host to the Winthrop Eagles in the opening round of the NCAA Championship and used its new-found home-field advantage to defeat Winthrop, 3-1, and advance to the second round of the tournament.
“The College has done a fantastic thing for our programs, because not only can we host NCAA games, we have also enhanced our ability to schedule quality opponents,” said former long-time head coach Al Albert. “Just the overall perception of our program in recruiting and talking to people will be enhanced. It’s a great thing. The College took a great step when we got a home at Busch Field and now they’re taking another great step with this new facility. It’s one of the final pieces that we need to go all the way.”
The new field paid immediate dividends in 2004, as W&M hosted two Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) opponents (Maryland and Virginia Tech), the first ACC teams to play W&M in Williamsburg since 1996. In just the second match played at the facility, the Tribe earned the first win in school history over the nation’s top ranked team with a 1-0 victory over No. 1 Maryland on Sept. 22. W&M not only notched the victory, but shut out the nation’s top scoring offense at the time and an eventual College Cup semifinalist. The Tribe ended the year with a 5-1-3 home record in its first season at the facility. While the facility has been an added coup for the Tribe men’s soccer program, it has also been one for the Williamsburg and W&M community.
“For the longest time, we were getting into the NCAA Tournament, but apart from the 1992 season, we were never in consideration to host an NCAA Tournament game,” Norris said. “Not only is that a difficult route to win when you have to go on the road and play people, but it also took away from the excitement here on campus. We had some really good teams that were very well supported by the campus and community, but yet didn’t have the opportunity to play the biggest games of the year at home. With the new facility, that changes, and it is a benefit to not only our program, but the community as a whole.”
The project began in the spring of 2001, when William and Mary received a $500,000 challenge grant from Mr. and Mrs. Jim Ukrop of Richmond, Va., to build a natural grass field adjacent to W&M’s baseball stadium, Plumeri Park, located at the College’s Dillard complex.
As graduates of William and Mary, Jim and Bobbie Ukrop have long been generous supporters of the College and have touched the lives of thousands of students, both in the athletics department and general college community, with their philanthropy.
“The challenge grant provided us the opportunity to enhance the competitiveness of three of our very successful programs, men’s and women’s soccer and lacrosse,” said William and Mary Athletics Director Terry Driscoll. “At the request by Mr. and Mrs. Ukrop, the facility would be named in the honor of those two coaches recognizing their long service and the success of their programs here at the College of William and Mary.”
Al Albert led the Tribe men’s soccer team as head coach for 33 seasons before retiring from coaching in January of 2004. He amassed a record of 401-187-64 (.664) during his tenure and became just the eighth coach in NCAA Division I history to reach 400 wins, and just the third to have earned all those wins at one school. Throughout the 1990s, the Tribe ranked as one of the top programs in the nation, placing eighth in wins (149) and 13th in winning percentage (.708).
A 1969 graduate of William and Mary, Albert’s teams put together 29 consecutive winning seasons (a W&M record) and 26 straight campaigns of 10 wins or more. W&M made its 12th appearance in the NCAA tournament in 2002, when the Tribe advanced to the round of 16 with wins at Duke and Virginia. Albert was named CAA Coach of the Year a conference-record four times (1987, 1992, 1994 and 1996), and earned the South Atlantic Region’s top honor in 1992, 1998 and 2002.
John Daly reigns among the most successful coaches in America, leading the Tribe’s women’s soccer program over the last 20 years. Daly ranks among the top 10 in victories (308) among his Division I peers. He has also directed W&M to the NCAA postseason 20 times, including 13 seasons in a row from 1992-2004. Overall, the College has sponsored women’s soccer for 27 years with the team advancing to the NCAA Tournament 23 times.
On the field, during Daly’s tutelage, 13 W&M soccer players have garnered a total of 29 All-America honors, including two National Players of the Year in Megan McCarthy (1987) and four-time All-American Natalie Neaton (1995). Daly has been named CAA Coach of the Year four times (1993, 1994, 1999, 2006) and Mid-Atlantic Coach of the Year five times (1989, 1990, 1992, 1997, 2006).