Catamount Athletic Complex (Soccer, Tennis, Track & Field)
Opened in 2005, the Catamount Athletic Complex (CAC) serves as the home venue for Western Carolina Women's Soccer, Women's Tennis and the Catamount Men's and Women's Track & Field teams. The 1,000-seat complex features a fully functional press box with views of the soccer pitch and track; eight tennis courts including two with "center court" feel; and locker and team room facilities for women's soccer, tennis and visiting teams. There is also a concession stand, rest room facilities and an athletic training station.
Located along the picturesque banks of Cullowhee Creek on the north end of the Western Carolina campus, the facility also includes Charles Schrader Field, a grass practice and warm-up field which served as the original home of the WCU women's soccer program upon its inception in 1999. The field, named for former WCU men's soccer head coach, is used for soccer practice, and is also utilized while hosting home track & field events for staging and warm-ups.
The Catamount Athletic Complex also replaced a non-regulation track & field venue which sat upon the same location, while also replacing the tennis courts at Reid Gymnasium that gave way for the construction of the Campus Recreation Center.
For track & field events, the Catamount Athletic Complex features an eight-lane, 400-meter Beynon 1000 System track with two pole vault and jump runways on the south end with pits adorning either end. The sprint lanes at the CAC are located on the back stretch directly across from the grandstand seating to provide full-race viewing for spectators.
The facility also includes a high jump apron on the north end with a pair of javelin runways gracing each end of the track, interchangeable with wind directions. The shot put and discus areas are located inside the track and a hammer / discus area located directly beside the track.
The first event held at the Catamount Athletic Complex came in early-2005 before the official completion of the venue. WCU Track & Field hosted the Catamount Classic at the new facility on April 2, 2005 as a trial run before entertaining the 2005 Southern Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championship to rave reviews, marking the first-time WCU had ever hosted the conference championship-crowning event.
Western Carolina women's soccer played its' first-ever match at the on-campus facility, officially opening the venue on September 2, 2005 with a 3-0 win over Campbell in front of a crowd of 574. In the second year of the complex, aided by Homecoming festivities, a facility-record 1,189 purple and gold clad fans packed into the stands to witness a 2-1 Catamount win over the College of Charleston.
Another historic moment for the women's soccer program at the Catamount Athletic Complex came on Sept. 21, 2008 as Western Carolina upset 20th-ranked South Carolina, 1-0, on the home pitch. It was the program's first-ever win over a nationally-ranked opponent.
Catamount Athletic Complex - Top 10 Women's Soccer Attendances:
1. 1,189 - vs. College of Charleston (Oct. 13, 2006)
2. 1,094 - vs. College of Charleston (Oct. 16, 2009)
3. 833 - vs. Elon (Nov. 2, 2008)
4. 748 - vs. Wofford (Oct. 3, 2008)
5. 732 - vs. Wofford (Sept. 15, 2006)
6. 707 - vs. Winthrop (Sept. 7, 2007)
7. 671 - vs. Georgia Southern (Sept. 27, 2009)
8. 648 - vs. UNC Greensboro (Nov. 3, 2006)
9. 638 - vs. Furman (Sept. 29, 2006)
10. 621 - vs. Appalachian State (Oct. 5, 2007)
First Home Match / First Win: Sept. 2, 2005 - Western Carolina 3, Campbell 0 - Att.: 574