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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI goalkeeper shines on and off the field

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

Heís used to preventing goals, but has no trouble reaching his own
KINGSTON, R.I. -- April 11, 2002 -- Michael Charles is a Deanís List student at the University of Rhode Island, a star on its soccer team and a Verizon Academic All-American. While these are important milestones in the sophomoreís life, what he really treasures is something basic. "I have so many great times playing soccer. My teammates are also my family and any trip with them is so much fun and memorable. Meeting the guys on the team is probably the best part of my time at URI."

The standout goalkeeper from Glendora, Calif. was outstanding in goal last season posting a 0.90 goals against average. He led the team to a 13-4-1 record, including five shutouts.

Charlesí success on and off the field led him to be named a Verizon Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America. This honor came after he posted a 3.91 grade point average in biological sciences and after having made the Deanís List every semester since his arrival at URI.

"I was shocked when I found out I had made Verizon Academic All-American. (Assistant) Coach (Jay) Primiano announced it in front of everyone during practice," said Charles. "I feel honored. Itís nice to show everyone out there that collegiate athletes are not just athletes, but student-athletes."

Charles maintains his high grades and his high performance on the soccer field by setting priorities. "You learn to work ahead. The key is to prioritize by knowing what classes you need to study for," said Charles.

"Michael is a leader. He came in early this past season with a little college playing experience and won the starting job and the confidence of his teammates," said Coach Ed Bradley. "When you have the chance to showcase a student-athlete, you could put Michaelís picture there."

Charles has been playing soccer since the age of 5 but did not become serious about goalkeeping until he was 12. He hopes to continue playing soccer after his college career.

"Itís always been a dream of mine to play professionally and I will go anywhere in the world to play. If that doesnít happen then I will probably play in an adult league or semi-pro league," said Charles. "I also look forward to coaching. Basically, soccer has been my life so I donít plan on stopping that after college."

"Any time thereís a task to be done, you can count on him to get it done," said Bradley. "Heís the type of kid that will do well wherever he goes in life, in academics and soccer."

For Information: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862, Sarah Emmett, 401-874-2116