University School of Milwaukee’s Liz Krieg Field is sporting brand-new artificial turf, just in time for the 2021–22 field hockey and lacrosse seasons, and will be enjoyed for years to come. The AstroTurf® field was installed in July by SportGroup, a global sports surfacing company that has put in more than 13,000 artificial turf fields around the world.
The original turf field was installed nearly 10 years ago thanks to the support of a number of families who wanted to honor Liz Krieg ’79, former varsity field hockey coach and director of USM’s College Guidance office, and was nearing the end of its functional life. Because crews from SportGroup were already on campus preparing to install AstroTurf® on the new Wildcat Park Baseball Stadium, the USM leadership decided to simultaneously upgrade the turf on Liz Krieg Field at a reduced rate.
Not only does the new turf provide more uniform shock absorption, it is more resistant to wear and tear, provides more consistent footing for players, and is better suited to accommodate both field hockey and lacrosse athletes. “The technology of today’s turf material is really incredible,” said Tim Williams, director of athletics. “The ball is able travel on top of the fibers for field hockey, and it also allows for lacrosse players to dig in their cleats for better footing than what we had previously,” he said.
Williams traveled throughout the region when researching what type of turf to install, and ultimately chose AstroTurf® based on what other schools and athletic complexes had done. “Andrea Burlew ’93 [USM varsity field hockey coach and kindergarten teacher] and I went to a football field in Kewaskum, Wisconsin that had the same turf material,” he said. “We tested out the field and were very pleased with how it handled our stick and ball. It had a good firmness and a good responsiveness that we thought would perform well for our players and our opponents.”
The new turf creates an upgraded experience for USM’s athletes and coaches. “The turf looks great, and once you step on the field to practice and compete on, it's really incredible.”
Join us on the morning of Sept. 25 as we celebrate the new turf prior to the annual Tessa Nowakowski ’10 memorial varsity field hockey game.