Indiana Daily Student

Yeagley helps bring soccer tournament to IPFW

FORT WAYNE ' After his team lost to Duke 8-0 at the Soccer Showcase at IU-Purdue University at Fort Wayne Sunday afternoon, IPFW coach Terry Stefankiewicz turned to the stands and thanked the crowd.\nStefankiewicz later thanked IU men's soccer coach Jerry Yeagley for his help in drawing other highly touted teams to the inaugural tournament at the Division II school. Stefankiewicz said he came up with the idea for a preseason tournament that would feature nationally ranked teams more than two years ago. Getting sponsorship was difficult at first, but once IU joined the bill, no other teams rejected the offer, Stefankiewicz said.\n"Not one school turned me down," Stefankiewicz said. "They all wanted to play Indiana, so it made it really easy. It's amazing how much influence Jerry Yeagley has on the entire country."\nAbout 3,500 fans attended IPFW's 4-0 loss to the top-ranked Hoosiers Saturday night at the newly constructed Hefner Community Fields. The tournament featured six teams, including No. 7 Duke and No. 20 Rutgers. About 5,000 were in attendance Saturday for four matches.\nStefankiewicz played for Yeagley's club soccer team at IU in 1970 and 1971, two years before the sport achieved varsity status. The men continue a teacher-mentor relationship in their current coaching jobs.\n"I talked to Jerry about it, and he said it's a great idea, everyone's been talking about it, but no one's taken the bull by the horns," Stefankiewicz said. "He said, "Terry, if you can do it, you've got Indiana." \nHefner Community Fields has 14 fields, including two stadium fields, entirely devoted to soccer. The entire project cost about $1.7 million with more than 12 donations covering the cost, IPFW athletic director Walter Bowman said. The fields opened in November and have since held the Hoosier State Games, Snickers Games, a Father's Day tournament and high school team practices.\nThe fields were under construction for a year and a half, and no soccer cleat or athletic shoe was allowed to touch the fields for a year. A farmer donated the land to the university, Bowman said. The land is prone to floods, so buildings cannot be constructed on it.\n"There are already a lot of football fields," Bowman said. "No one wants to build another football field. We found the people were really interested in doing something for the community. With soccer fields, we have very few in the city and this would be a great way to (give to the community), and right away, with 14 fields right there."\nIPFW faced IU in the final game Saturday, allowing the Mastodons to face either No. 7 Duke or No. 20 Rutgers, the only other top 20 teams at the tournament, Sunday. A patron said more fans were at the IU-IPFW matchup that would be at all of IPFW's regular season games combined. Bowman said low attendance has to do with the Mastodon's Division II schedule.\nAlthough his Mastodons were outscored 12-0 in two games during the weekend, Stefankiewicz said he is pleased with the outcome of the tournament. When the tournament was finished and his team secured a 2-0 win against Rutgers, Yeagley returned gratitude to his former player and lifelong student.\n"It was an event, and the coaches who were here from some of the nation's top teams thought it was a very, very worthwhile experience," Yeagley said. "We all came in wondering, How is this going to be? What's Fort Wayne going to do with this and the university?" \n"They had a standing crowd last night. The crowds we've had for all the games, the great facilities and the way they took care of us was really an excellent event, as well as an opportunity to find out what our teams were about a little bit at this point. I was very pleased, and I congratulate Terry Stefankiewicz, the university and the city. Fort Wayne's doing some good stuff with soccer. I look forward to coming back"

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