The group of parents alongside one of the half-dozen soccer fields at the newly opened Embrey Mill recreational complex in Stafford County jumped and shouted after their Northern Virginia U-9 boys team scored to tie the match on Saturday afternoon.
They not only enjoyed the score but also the shiny new digs in the large new park off Courthouse Road.
“It’s gorgeous,” said Carol Dembicki, whose son, Roman, had scored the team’s goal a moment earlier.
Another parent agreed. “Great setup,” said Rob Suller.
Hundreds of soccer players enjoyed the new fields in the first action on the opening weekend of the new Embrey Mill complex.
The players were taking part in the county’s 23rd annual St. Patrick’s Day tournament, in which 170 teams are competing. The competitors’ ages range from 9 to 19.
The soccer players used 24 fields around the county, but the prime spot was Embrey Mill.
The $26 million complex has six fields. Four of them have artificial turf and two have grass. There are plans to build two more fields on the site, where there also is a aquatics/recreational center under construction.
It was possible not long ago that not all the fields would be ready for the tournament.
But last month Stafford Associates L.P., the developer of the nearby Colonial Forge subdivision, cut a deal with the county to help speed up the park’s completion. The deal also relieved the developer of some previously agreed-to proffer requirements.
Renee Frey, the county’s director of soccer and travel tournaments, was happy with the complex.
“Couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out,” she said.
Loudoun County resident Chad Dietz also was impressed with the complex, saying it’s bigger than the ones he’s used to.
“The fields are great, beautiful facility,” he said. “The way it’s laid out, I think they did a really good job.”