HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. >> There is a new place to call home for the both the Hoosick Falls Central School boys and girls lacrosse teams.
This season the Panthers will play their home games at the George Helft Soccer Complex.
"We are very excited for our lacrosse teams to have the opportunity to use the soccer complex this season," said Hoosick Falls athletic director Tom Husser. "It's a great complex for athletics and it will be a big help in helping our lacrosse programs get better this season."
Hoosick Falls has been using the soccer complex facilities for their soccer teams over the years and were able to strike a deal with the Hoosick Falls Soccer Club to use the newly placed lacrosse field at the complex for their lacrosse teams this season.
Both the boys and girls teams will have their own high school regulated lacrosse field to play and practice on.
For the past six years the Hoosick Falls girls team has used the school's field hockey field as their home field, while the boys, since they began playing lacrosse in 2013, have been using the Hoosac School lacrosse field as their home field.
"It's great to have your own field where you're in control on what goes on," Husser said. "We get to set our own practice times and schedules. We're not revolving around another school schedule and making sure all the time that our plans don't interfere with theirs."
Another benefit to using the fields at the soccer complex is the great facilities that it has to offer.
"It's such a great field to play on," said Hooisck Falls girls coach Lisa Ferranini. "It drains really well, the huge size of it makes easier for kids to run around and it's like playing on a real size lacrosse field. It's nice to play on a real field finally."
Because the fields are New York state regulated, too, the Panthers can now host a sectional game, if they earn a chance to.
Before this year, the Panthers could not host any sectional game and had to go on the road to play a game in the playoffs, even if they were technically the home team.
With having their home games now played at the soccer complex, Hoosick Falls hopes that will also help get more people out to the game and help get more in the district to get involved in lacrosse, so it helps their two programs continue to grow.
"Having the games in the center of the town at the complex I think will get more people involved in the sport," Ferranini said. "I think you will see a lot of people attending our games. I think the complex will become a youth center for kids to play lacrosse and that will help us get more and more kids to get involved in the sport when they reach the high school level."
Playing on the field has already made a huge impact on the girls team too this year, Ferranini said.
"We are a month ahead of schedule in the way we are playing right now," Ferranini said. "Having the nice weather we have had has been a great help, but being able to practice on the field the past two weeks has really helped the girls improve quicker and helped prepare them more for the upcoming season."
The girls will host their first game at the soccer complex on April 7 against Cohoes, while the boys will play their season opener at the complex, when they host Maple Hill on Tuesday at 5 p.m.