Lauralton unveils $2 million turf field Monday

In recent years, Lauralton Hall in Milford added field hockey and lacrosse as varsity sports, however the school only had the Morrissey Field available for games. On May 16 the all-girls high school will unveil a brand new $2 million synthetic turf field. A field dedication ceremony will be held in conjunction with the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Luncheon.

Inaugurated in 2012, the Lauralton Hall Athletic Hall of Fame recognizes outstanding individuals who are nominated for performing with athletic distinction or having been instrumental in the overall development and success of athletics at Lauralton.

This year’s event starts at 11:30 a.m. and will officially recognize the following inductees:

Elizabeth Higgins Gladfelter, Class of '64 –  Class Valedictorian played field hockey, basketball and softball. Completed 30 half marathons, 18 marathons and triathlons. Graduated from Stanford and earned a Ph.D. in Biology from UCLA.

Mary Ellen Curran Class of '82 – Played tennis and basketball in high school and college. Completed nine 200 mile bike rides to benefit the Jimmy Fund. Accomplished executive, community advocate and philanthropist.

Tom McDonald - Lauralton Coach of State Champion softball and basketball teams. Inducted into CT Softball Hall of Fame in 2014.

Theresa Napolitano – Lauralton Coach of State Champion softball and field hockey teams. National Coach of the Year and inducted into CT Softball Hall of Fame in 2015.

The keynote speaker for the Induction Ceremony is Dr. Donna Lopiano, President and Founder of Sports Management Resources and former CEO of Women's Sports Foundation. Named one of “The 10 Most Powerful Women in Sports” by Fox Sports, Lopiano has been nationally and internationally recognized for her leadership advocating for gender equity in sports.

The athletic field and practice track dedication ceremony will immediately follow at 1:30 p.m with opening remarks by Ben Blake, Mayor of Milford.  Other speakers include Chairman of the Board Dr. Trudy Dickneider, Lauralton’s President Dr. Toni Iadarola, Athletic Director Jeanne Cooper and a blessing of the field by Sister Liliyan Frayer and Rev. Michael J. Doody, S.J. from Fairfield University.  All attendees will then be invited to experience the field firsthand by taking a celebratory lap.

“Lauralton Hall scholar-athletes have always been recruited by top colleges for basketball, softball, crew, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, track, and other sports,” said Dr.  Iadarola. “In fact, this year, there are actually four juniors who have already received verbal offers to colleges, including Elyse Darcy to Iona College for lacrosse, Nicole (Nikki) Zaccaro to UC Berkeley for lacrosse, Madelyn Monahan to Lehigh University for field hockey and Kerry Ullman to Gettysburg for lacrosse.”

The new athletic field will be used for soccer, track, lacrosse and field hockey. During the planning stages of the project, the athletic director had the student athletes play on a variety of surfaces to determine their preference. They chose artificial turf over natural grass because there are no uneven or differently textured areas to alter the speed of a ball or affect performance. There is no downtime due to weather conditions. It is also infilled with sand and rubber particles that act as artificial earth, giving the athletes shock absorption and natural footing.  Additionally, a majority of Lauralton Hall’s competitor schools play on artificial turf.

Iadarola said the artificial turf fits in perfectly with the school’s commitment to caring for the environment. Artificial turf requires no watering, mowing or chemical fertilizers and is made with recycled materials.

“This project is only possible because of the generous donations from parents, trustees, alumnae, faculty, staff and friends,” said Iadarola. “They support our goal of providing student-athletes with an opportunity to learn the importance of ethical behavior, good sportsmanship, positive values and a realization of their self-worth.”