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Aug. 29, 2002

Columbia, S.C. – The University of South Carolina women’s soccer team opens up the 2002 season Friday with a 4:30 p.m. match vs. Birmingham Southern at Stone Stadium. Highlighting the season opener is brother and sister coming together on the same soccer field. Carolina senior defender Kanika McAlpine reunites with her brother Keidane, head coach of Birmingham Southern. The match on Friday is part of a doubleheader with the South Carolina men’s squad, who face Charleston Southern at 7 p.m.

“We’ve put in a lot of hard work these last three weeks of practice and are ready to be on the field and to face an opponent,” said USC head coach Shelley Smith. “We have been testing players in a variety of spots. The seniors have stepped up and set an example and have been good leaders for our newcomers. It has been a good experience for our new players to learn from our veterans and see what it takes to perform at this level.”

Kanika McAlpine played in all 18 matches for USC in 2001 with five starts. Kanika scored two goals and tallied one assist last year. Kanika is an SEC Academic Honor Roll member and also has been named to the USC President’s List (4.0 grade point average).

Keidane McAlpine is in his second year as head coach for Birmingham Southern. The Panthers finished with an 8-6-3 record last year in Keidane’s first season as head coach.

Carolina will travel to Davidson on Sunday for a 4 p.m. match. The Gamecocks defeated Davidson 4-0 last year in Columbia. The Gamecocks finished last season with an 8-7-3 record and as the third most improved team in the nation in head coach Shelley Smith’s first year at the helm.