Ounjian Field is an AstroTurf playing surface and the home of the Tufts University field hockey team. The complex is also used by Tufts' club sports and intramural teams, as well as by local community sports organizations.
The $2.4 million facility, opened in September 2016, features an Astroturf surface, the fast-playing, non-directional surface which is the gold standard for the game. The field is also equipped with a watering system which will improve the speed of play, the roll of the ball, and player safety. The complex also includes lighting, perimeter netting, elevated bleachers, team areas, and a press box.
"We are so grateful to our many donors who made this beautiful new facility possible," Director of Athletics John Morris said. "Ounjian Field will enable our varsity field hockey program to continue competing for NESCAC and NCAA championships, while enhancing our ability to recruit top student-athletes who want the balance of academic and athletic excellence that Tufts provides. And just as important, Ounjian Field will provide significantly more field time to our intramural, club and recreational sports, which will positively impact the experience of the many Tufts students who enjoy participating in those activities."
Overall there were 14 donors to the field project, ranging from current parents, alumnae parents, alumnae, and friends of the University. The lead gift was made by alumnus Doug Rachlin, class of 1985.
The field is named in honor of Tufts professor Daniel Ounjian, who served as Mr. Rachlin's advisor and mentor and had a strong impact on his life, both while at Tufts and into his professional career. Professor Ounjian graduated from Tufts in 1957 and received his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University in 1966. Returning to teach at Tufts in 1962, he served as a Professor of Economics until his retirement in 1993. During his 31-year career at Tufts he served for over a decade as chairman of the Department, and was an important contributor to many University committees and activities. Mr. Ounjian passed away in 1993.
The facility is located among the fields across the street from Cousens Gymnasium, beyond Huskins Field and next to Bello Field.
"This is one of the most amazing things to happen to this program," said field hockey head coach Tina McDavitt, who directed the team to the 2012 NCAA Championship. "This new facility shows the support of the university for our program and to all of the students participating in club sports, rec sports and intramurals. This is a game-changer for us and puts us on par with all of the top teams in Division III."
"We are incredibly thankful for the opportunity to play on the beautiful new surface at Ounjian Field," said 2016 field hockey senior co-captain Nicole Arata. "Our program has always prided itself on being a top Division III team, and we are thrilled to have the elite facilities to match. We are beyond excited about the strides we will be able to make as a program on AstroTurf, and we cannot express our gratitude enough towards everyone involved in making this dream field possible."
"The game of field hockey is meant to be played on a fast surface, so we are unbelievably excited to be able to showcase both our individual and collective skill on our new AstroTurf," added 2016 co-captain Dominique Zarrella. "I don't think I'll ever forget the day that Tina told us we were getting a new field. We can't even begin to express our gratitude towards everyone for their support of both our program and of the individuals on this team past, present and future. I suppose the only thing we have left to do is thank everyone by having a winning season."
Tufts won the first-ever game played at Ounjian Field, 2-0, against Bates College on September 13, 2016. Later that season the team hosted the NESCAC semifinals and championship game, as well as the NCAA "Sweet 16" and "Elite 8" there.
Take a virtual tour of Ounjian Field ...