Turf groundbreaking, baseball ceremonies highlight Wheaton Homecoming

Turf groundbreaking, baseball ceremonies highlight Wheaton Homecoming

NORTON, Mass.- The official turf field groundbreaking and the 2012 baseball team ceremonies highlight Homecoming Saturday for the Wheaton College Department of Athletics.

The turf field, which will officially be named the Diane C. Nordin '80 Turf Field thanks to her lead gift to the project, is set to be completed by fall 2013 and will be utilized by the varsity field hockey and men's and women's lacrosse programs, club sports and intramurals teams, as well as many others.

Saturday's ceremony to celebrate the construction start of the college's new turf field will take place at 4:00 p.m. behind the Haas Athletic Center.  Balloons will mark the way to the ceremony, where Nordin, President Ronald Crutcher, Wheaton Board of Trustees members and distinguished alumnae/i, administrators, donors and student-athletes will take shovels in hand to symbolically launch the project.

The ceremony will be followed by a reception at the Neilson Classroom inside Haas.

In addition to the official groundbreaking, athletics will honor the 2012 baseball team whose season culminated in a national championship game appearance, its second in seven years.  The Lyons will be recognized at halftime of the 1:00 p.m. men's soccer game against New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) rival Babson College at Keefe Field. 

Finishing the season ranked second nationally in a pair of year-end polls, Wheaton baseball boasted a 41-11 overall record and a 16-2  mark in the NEWMAC.  Advancing to the NCAA College World Series for the first time since 2006 while making its 11th NCAA Tournament appearance in 13 seasons, the Lyons also earned its 13th regular season league championship and 12th conference tournament title in the NEWMAC's 14-year history.

Men's soccer looks to knock off the region's eighth-ranked team in Babson, a squad who is riding a 35-game conference unbeaten streak dating back to the start of the 2008 season.

Field hockey is the other varsity home team in action on Saturday at 1:00 p.m., taking on nationally-ranked Skidmore College.  The Lyons hope to upset the 11th-ranked Thoroughbreds.

Several alum games and events also highlight the weekend docket.  Saturday alum contests include men's soccer at 10:00 a.m., softball at 10:30 a.m., men's basketball, women's lacrosse and men's and women's swimming & diving at 11 a.m., and men's lacrosse at 12:00 p.m.  Men's and women's track & field will hold its annual barbecue at 11:30 a.m.

On Sunday, baseball and women's basketball host alum games at 11:00 a.m., with a women's basketball reception to follow.