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 six 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 spring of 2014, Furman broke ground on the 5,300-square foot Spinx Field House that will include home and visiting team locker rooms, expanded public restrooms, a permanent concession area, referees’ room, and storage space. The second floor will serve as an open-air plaza for watching games. The facility is named for supporters Stewart and Martha Spinx, 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 eight 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. All told the Paladins have compiled a 113-36-8 record in Stone Stadium (.745).
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 and FC Dallas (MLS) centerback Walker Zimmerman.
Furman women’s soccer, meanwhile, has enjoyed similar success since the program’s start in 1994. Over its 18 seasons of play, the aladins have captured seven conference regular season titles, made six NCAA Tournament appearances, and posted a 111-45-9 home match record in Stone Stadium (.700). In 2013, head coach Andrew Burr's squad fashoned a perfect 9-0 mark at Stone Stadium en route to claiming the SoCon regular season title, SoCon Tournament crown and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.