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  • Richard Smith

Herbert Field – Lebanon Valley Flying Dutchmen


Photos by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.71

Herbert Field 101 N College Ave Annville, PA 17003

Year Opened: 1999

Capacity: 750

 

Soccer In The Valley

Lebanon Valley College is a liberal arts college located in downtown Annville, PA. Annville is in Lebanon County, east of Hershey. Founded in 1866 Lebanon Valley has approximately 1,600 Undergraduates. The Princeton Review has recognized the college as “A Best in the Northeast” and they have over thirty-five fields of study.

Football was started in 1973 at Lebanon Valley College. Lebanon Valley College is a member of NCAA Division III, and competes in the MAC Commonwealth Conference (half of the two-conference Middle Atlantic Conferences). The men’s soccer team shares Herbert Field with the college’s women’s soccer team.

The school’s teams are called the Flying Dutchmen, and its mascot is the Dutchman. The college is known as the home of the 1994 NCAA Division III National Champions in basketball. That 1994 championship victory over New York University was a controversial affair when a Dutchmen shot that won the game may or may not have been by the sound of the buzzer. But no matter what the school hosts that championship proudly, as they should.

Herbert Field was named for alumnus Dr. Rex A. Herbert ’72, a local orthopedic surgeon and former owner of the Harrisburg Heat indoor soccer team.

According to the school: “In the summer of 2000, Lebanon Valley shared its facility with the U.S. Women’s National Team and the United States Under-23 Men’s Olympic Soccer Team. The women’s team prepared for the inaugural Women’s Gold Cup tournament, which took place at nearby Hersheypark Stadium. Earlier that spring, the soccer stadium hosted practices for the men’s team as it participated in the CONCACAF Men’s Final Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Hershey.”

Food & Beverage 2

There is no permanent food stand at Herbert Field.

The game I attended had a very good Philly cheesesteak truck parked nearby. I was told by a fan this is a pretty normal occurrence, especially with the men’s and women’s soccer doubleheaders that normally happens. The food truck makes a very good cheesesteak and is well worth the pretty low cost.

Atmosphere 3

Herbert Field was voted the 2001 Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) College Soccer Field of the Year. It is obvious why, as the field is a beautiful and immaculate soccer pitch.

The stands are molded into a hillside landscape to give it a unique identity. Fans watch the game from seat walls terraced into the hillside. It is a pretty unique landscaping feat that makes the fans part of the setting. The hillside slopes provide seating for many more.

Neighborhood 4

Annville is a great little town of a little less than 5,000 about 8 miles east of Hershey, PA. The college is right in the heart of downtown.

Funck’s Family Restaurant, Corvette Grille and Bar and Harper’s Tavern are all local establishments that offer good food pre and postgame. The Pennsylvania chain, Hoss’s Steak & Sea House, is another option right in Annville. The food is good, cheap and certainly plentiful.

J & S Pizza is a decent option within walking distance to campus.

Fans 2

The fans are also very knowledgeable about the game and action. Many of the fans in attendance will be family or friends of the players.

Access 4

Located on Route 422 between Lebanon and Hershey, Annville is easy to find and has no problem handling the crowds for such a small stadium. Expect that on busy game days you will hit some traffic on Route 422 and especially on Bellegrove Road by the athletic complex.

There is a good amount of parking, unless many other games are going on.

The athletic fields are located north of the main campus, separated by a railroad.

Return on Investment 2

Games are free to attend. There is no cost for parking.

The value is pretty good, although you are not watching Division I level soccer.

Extras 2

Walk over to the Arnold Sports Complex and check out the LVC Hall of Champions, where trophies and other items display the history of the school’s athletic programs.

Also make sure to stop in Arnold Arena and check out the 1994 championship basketball banner.

Take a stroll over to Herbert Field’s next door neighbor, McGill Field, the baseball field for the college. It was the 2000 STMA College Baseball Field of the Year. Its unique design makes it a great field to watch baseball at. And I love the fact that the scoreboard is located on the other side of the drive you will go through to get to the soccer field.

Final Thoughts

Lebanon Valley College has managed to make a very basic, although pretty, setting into one of the better soccer fields in the area. If in the area, make sure to stop in and see if you can catch a match.

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