The lacrosse teams will no longer use Parsons, the upper school’s only synthetic turf field, Director of Athletics Chris Hartley announced last Friday. In his all-school email, he wrote, “I hear the soccer teams’ grievances, and I am taking this measure to prevent future inter-team violence.” Starting April 1st, soccer will vacate Stimson to practice on the turf field.
This announcement came after the soccer teams’ joint demonstration on Parsons last Thursday and the ensuing brawl that left fifteen injured, six hospitalized, and one in critical condition.
One anonymous lacrosse player commented, “At first, our sticks and pads were highly effective, but they just kept coming, wave after wave. Eventually, we turned and ran.” Thankfully, Mateo G. ’24, who was placed in the ICU Thursday night, has stabilized. “It was worth it,” were the first words he said after waking up from his coma, the doctors noted.
Stimson, home of the boys’ and girls’ soccer teams, has long been a source of grievances for the soccer program. While playing on a grass field offers home-field advantage, its drawbacks outweigh its benefits. The field is uneven. Its grass is mowed twice a week at best, but even after mowing, cleat divots still dot the field–those have to be fixed manually. And, best of all, when the rainy season begins, the field metamorphoses into the annual Stimson slip-and-slide.
Add in the fact that the girls’ and boys’ soccer teams are both reigning state champions, and it becomes difficult to understand how the lacrosse team held the monopoly on Parsons for so long in the first place. Lacrosse players might retort that the list of years under the lacrosse “STATE CHAMPIONS” banners in the Competition Gym are longer than those under soccer’s, but with a closer look, lacrosse as a whole has not won a state championship since 2013. And boy’s lacrosse hasn’t done so since 1993. Lacrosse’s relegation to Stimson should serve as a wake-up call to lacrosse players: win their first state championship in 9 years, and Mr. Hartley might reverse his decision.