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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Professional women's soccer to return to Cary? And UNC women win NCAA soccer title

Posted by on Sun, Dec 7, 2008 at 7:38 PM

The Carolina Courage and the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) folded five years ago, but a new group is giving professional soccer a go, in an outfit called Women's Professional Soccer (WPS), which will begin play in 2009.

The proposed new local team would be based in Cary (and its 7,000-seat WakeMed Soccer Park) and it would seem to involve the participation of the ownership of the men's USL-1 side, the Carolina RailHawks. If this team materializes, it would begin play in 2010.

One takeaway from the story: In the three years that the Courage was in existence, its average attendance compared favorably with that of the RailHawks:

In three WUSA seasons before the league went out of business, the Courage averaged 5,255 fans per game in 2001 in Chapel Hill, 5,839 in 2002 after moving to what was then called SAS Stadium in Cary, and 5,737 in 2003.

In 2008, the Carolina RailHawks averaged 3,869 fans per game.

In other women's soccer news from WakeMed Soccer Park, the UNC women's team won the NCAA national championship for the 19th time, sending Notre Dame to its first defeat of the season, 2-1, behind two goals by Casey Nogueira--who also played for the Carolina RailHawks' women's side last summer. The Irish, it should be noted, scored its lone goal 16 seconds into the match.

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