William and Mary Tribe Women's Soccer at Martin Family Stadium at Albert-Daly Field
The William and Mary women’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 matches. 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 generated a considerable home-field advantage for the William and Mary women’s soccer program. The Tribe has enjoyed a 38-14-8 (.700) home record since competition began at the complex in 2004. In Colonial Athletic Association competition, the College has posted a record of 20-4-3 (.796).
“I’m very, very happy,” said Daly at the dedication. “I think it’s badly needed for both the men’s and women’s soccer and lacrosse programs. Jim and Bobbie Ukrop’s gift gesture is just tremendous. It’s going to help in every way from scheduling and recruiting to the perception of the program.”
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.
Coach Daly said of the new stadium, “Having a stadium at Albert-Daly Field will further enhance the reputations of all three sports utilizing the facility. It is an exciting time for the Tribe women’s soccer program.”
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 matches. W&M’s women participated in 27 NCAA tournament matches in the years before Albert-Daly field was completed, and only four were held in Williamsburg, none since 1992. 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.
“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 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.”
In 2006, the Tribe used their home base to catapult themselves to one of the best seasons in school history, ringing up 16 wins and four ties against a single loss and finishing the year in the NCAA tournament and among the top ten programs in the country. At home, the Green and Gold faced 10 teams and battled through unbowed, allowing only seven goals en route to a record of 8-0-2, 5-0-1 in the CAA. The attack was just as potent as the defense, putting 23 shots into the bag, the most by a single W&M team regardless of gender.
2007 was nearly as spectacular for the Tribe, as it finished the year at Albert-Daly on a six-match winning streak and went a perfect 4-0 against CAA opponents. The defense was was again dominating, allowing only four goals all season, and just two after a tough 2-1 setback against Oklahoma in the first home fixture of the year.
Fans of the College have responded enthusiastically as the side has reclaimed its prominence in the region and around the nation, setting attendance records each of the past three seasons. In 2008, the Collge drew more than 500 fans to Albert-Daly Field on three occassions, culminating with a record crowd of 711 to see the Tribe take on Hofstra in the CAA Tournament. In the 2008 season, the Tribe averaged a record 322 fans for each of its 12 home contests.
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.”
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 (310) among his Division I peers. He has also directed W&M to the NCAA postseason 19 times, including 13 seasons in a row from 1992-2004. Overall, the College has sponsored women’s soccer for 28 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 27 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).
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.