Blog: Looking Back on 20 Years of Soccer - 2000

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As crazy as it seems, the upcoming 2012 season will be the University of Minnesota's 20th year of having a women's soccer program. To pay tribute to the past 19 seasons, we will take a look back in time this summer and highlight the evolution of Gopher soccer year-by-year. The weekly updates will help us commemorate all the great moments in program history as we head into the highly-anticipated 2012 season, which kicks off August 17 at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium against NCAA College Cup participant Florida State.

Today's installment takes us to 200, which was
marked the first coaching change in the history of Minnesota soccer. Barbara Wickstrand succeeded Sue Montagne to become the second head coach in Golden Gopher history.

Schedule/Results l Roster l Statistics l Photo Gallery

The season was a roller-coaster ride. After losing eight seniors to graduation, there were often time that the Gophers' lineup featured up to seven players in their first or second year of collegiate soccer. The result was a team that struggled to put the ball in the net, tallying just 20 goals en route to the first losing record in Minnesota soccer history.

The Gophers began their 2000 campaign with a rematch with Nebraska, the team that ended Minnesota's season in the second round of the NCAA Tournament the previous fall. The No. 5-ranked Huskers jumped on the Gophers early with two goals in the first 10 minutes and never looked back in defeating the Maroon & Gold by a 4-0 count.

One of the biggest highlights of the season came in the second match of the season, when No. 19 Kentucky visited Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium. Minnesota used a goal by Laurie Seidl to defeat the Wildcats, 1-0. The win was the first of Coach Wickstrand's career and the first Gopher win over a nationally ranked team since 1998.

Playing their third-straight match at home to start the year, the Gophers improved to 2-1 on the season with a 1-0 victory over Iowa State in their next outing. The consecutive shutout victories earned goalkeeper Julie Eibensteiner Co-Big Ten Player of the Week honors, as well as a spot on the Soccer America Team of the Week.

The momentum shifted the following weekend, as the Gophers dropped non-conference matches to Montana and Detroit-Mercy. A 5-1 victory over Iowa was the only bright spot as Minnesota lost five matches in a six-match stretch.
Go Gophers!
Go Gophers!
Juli Montgomery
Go Gophers!

Starting on October 1, Minnesota captured four-straight shutout wins to pull their season record to 7-6. Starting defender Juli Montgomery was lost to a broken foot but replacing her was a concern for only a short time as Samantha Meyers moved from her midfield position to sweeper and excelled, earning second-team All-Big Ten honors at season's end.

The Gophers started the streak with a 2-0 win over Ohio State. Rookie Kecia Lee scored both goals for the only multi-goal match of the season for the Maroon & Gold.

Minnesota then went on the road for a pair of matches, capturing a 2-0 win at Purdue and a hard-fought 1-0 triumph at Indiana. The Gophers ended their home season with the last victory in the stretch, defeating Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1-0, on a goal by Rachael Roth.

Michigan State broke the Gophers' winning streak but needed double overtime to do so, capturing a 1-0 victory on a goal in the 109th minute of play.

The Gophers followed with a loss to rival Wisconsin, 4-2, and defeated Northwestern, 2-1 in overtime, to finish the Big Ten season with a 5-5-0 record and in a sixth-place tie in the league standings.

Minnesota traveled to Arizona for the final weekend of regular season. The Gophers lost a 2-0 contest to No. 10 Brigham Young, and then played host Arizona State to a 1-1 tie in double overtime.

The tie-breaker to decide seeding for the Big Ten Tournament dropped the Gophers down to the eighth seed and a quarterfinal match against regular-season champion No. 7 Penn State.

Minnesota weathered the storm for 89 minutes, holding the Nittany Lions scoreless with Eibensteiner, who was named to the All-Tournament team, collecting a career-high 13 saves. But with 56 seconds left in regulation, Penn State's All-American Christie Welsh bounced a ball into the Gophers' goal to give PSU the late win and end the Gophers season.

The Gophers would have Alison Rackley and Meyers would be the lone players tagged for postseason honors. Rackley was named second team, All-Great Lakes Region and first team, All-Big Ten while Meyers was selected as a second team, All-Big Ten defender.

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