EUGENE STONE SOCCER STADIUM
In September of 1995, over 3,500 fans joined with international soccer great Pelé in dedicating Furman University’s new Eugene Stone III Soccer Stadium.
The facility, which features a brick and wrought iron fence, 3,000 permanent seats, fully-automated scoreboard, press box, and lighting for night games, serves as home of Furman’s sucessful men’s and women’s soccer programs and has been the site of seven Southern Conference Tournaments and three NCAA Tournament first round matches.
Named for the late Eugene Stone, long-time Furman benefactor, the $1 million complex is one of several generous gifts made by Stone and the Stone Foundation to Furman University in support of the school’s athletics program.
In 1981 Stone provided the grading work for Furman’s Paladin Stadium football field, which is named in his honor, and in 1983 he initiated significant annual scholarship support for Furman’s men’s soccer program.
During the 2012 season, the Stone Soccer Stadium playing surface was named Seagraves Field after former Paladin soccer standout Graham Seagraves '00 and his wife, Jarrell '00, made a generous donation to help Furman begin its fundraising efforts for a new field house.
In the fall of 2015, Furman completed construction of the 5,300-square foot Spinks Field House that includes home and visiting team locker rooms, expanded public restrooms, a permanent concession area, referees’ room, and storage space. The second floor features offices for both the men's and women's coaching staffs as well as an area to entertain guests and recruits. The facility is named for supporters Stewart and Martha Spinks, who helped make the field house a reality through their donations to the program.
Furman’s men’s soccer program has won 19 Southern Conference championships and made nine NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the “Elite 8” in 1999 following first and second round wins over North Carolina and Wake Forest, respectively. Furman finished that season 21-2-1 and ranked third in the final Soccer America poll. In 2002, the Paladins posted a 19-3-1 mark, including a pair of NCAA Tournament wins, and in 2007 Furman posted a 19-4 mark and advanced into the NCAA Tournament second round before losing, 1-0, to eventual champion Wake Forest.
Furman players who have starred in Stone Stadium include Clint Dempsey, a standout performer with Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) and three-time FIFA World Cup participant with the United State Men's National Team; former U.S. National Team and current Houston Dynamo (MLS) midfielder Ricardo Clark; San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) winger Shea Salinas, FC Dallas (MLS) centerback Walker Zimmerman and Sporting Kansas City (MLS) goalkeeper Alec Kann.
Furman women’s soccer, meanwhile, has enjoyed similar success since the program’s start in 1994. Over its 2 seasons of play, the Paladins have captured seven conference regular season titles and made seven NCAA Tournament appearances.