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New Women's Soccer Team Rolls Into Triangle

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RALEIGH — Move over hockey and football players! A group of women with a ton of "courage" is taking over. A professional women's soccer team will soon roll into the Triangle.

TheCarolina Courageis one of eight new professional women's soccer teams across the country that are part of the newWomen's United Soccer Association(WUSA). The new soccer league comes with big names and big expectations.

"When we start this league in April, you're going to see the world's finest players, and in fact, I can't think of another time a league has launched and immediately been the very best," says Courage coach Marcia McDermott.

The U.S. team that won the World Cup in 1999 opened the door for women's soccer. The stars became international celebrities. The new league and teams hope that star power will attract a faithful following.

"We love to see the big crowds, and we're hoping that the first year at Fetzer Field, we're just going to pack the stadium and it's going to be a great experience," says player Carla Overbeck, who was the team captain on the 1999 World Cup Team.

UNC's Fetzer Field is their temporary home. In its second season, the Courage expects to play in the State Capital Soccer Park, a 9,000-seat stadium to be built in Cary.

Among the fans will be many girls who already look up to players like Carla Overbeck, Tiffany Roberts and Kim Yankowski.

"It's so wonderful to look up to them and they're great players -- to see like how good everyone of us could be one day," says soccer fan Sarah Kirkley. There's only one thing that could keep many of the fans away

"As long as we're not playing, we looked at the schedule, but unfortunately there's going to be some conflicts here So we're going to have to see what we can do and try to get to some." -->

The inaugural season for the WUSA consists of 21 regular season games plus playoffs in September.

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Rick Armstrong, Reporter
Rick Armstrong, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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