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April 8, 2003

Columbia, S.C. – Fresh off a successful career at the University of South Carolina, women’s soccer standout Melinda Carter has earned a spot on the San Jose Cyber Rays of the WUSA. A four-time All-Southeast Region selection and an All-SEC selection in 2002, Carter becomes the first women’s soccer player at South Carolina to earn a spot in the professional league.

“We are very proud with what she has accomplished and excited for the opportunity and spot she has earned,” said USC head coach Shelley Smith. ” ‘Bullet’ responded to the challenges we set for her and the program and it’s rewarding for her to compete at the highest level. We hope to prepare more of our athletes for this opportunity as we continue to raise the standards and level of play.”

The Cyber Rays won the Founders Cup in the WUSA in 2001 and are one of eight teams in the WUSA. Among the players on the Cyber Rays include U.S. National Team member Brandi Chastain.

“To reach this level and be competing with the best players in the nation is incredible,” said Carter. “At South Carolina I had the chance to grow as a player and learn how to understand my role on the field, especially in the last two years. The expectations and demands of the coaching staff helped me to obtain my goals.”

Carter and the Cyber Rays are 1-0 after the first week of play with a 1-0 victory vs. the Philadephia Charge. The Cyber Rays next play Saturday, April 19 vs. Washington.