Blog: Looking Back on 20 Years of Soccer - 2002

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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 2002, which served as a rebuilding year for the program as they suited up 17 underclassmen. The youthful team showed a lot of poise but would post its third-straight below .500 record, which was deceiving since seven of the squad's losses were by one goal.

Schedule/Results l Roster l Statistics l Photo Gallery

The Golden Gophers began the 2002 campaign with a neutral-site matchup against Washington State in Missoula, Mont.  The youthful squad was unable to get things going against the Cougars as the Maroon & Gold dropped a 2-0 decision.

Two days later, Minnesota would shutout host Montana, 1-0, and begin a five-game winning streak. The lone goal of the match was scored by Marshall transfer Amanda McMahon in the 52nd minute.

The streak came alive in their first two home matches of the season as they blanked Southwest Missouri State, 3-0, and edged out Colorado, 3-2. Over the two games, the Gophers received two goals from McMahon and three from junior Rachael Roth.

Minnesota stretched the streak to five-matches the following weekend as they tallied a pair of 1-0 shutouts against Iowa State and Cincinnati. In both contests, Roth was the hero as she scored the lone goals. The Maroon & Gold defense was stiff all weekend as they allowed a combine five shots on goal.

The streak would come to a halt once Big Ten Conference play began as the Golden Gophers dropped a one-goal decision on the road to Purdue, which began a three-game losing streak with all being 1-0 losses. The other two would come at the hands of Indian and Michigan State.

In the loss to the Spartans, the Maroon & Gold suffered not only a defeat, but the loss of McMahon, who was carted off the field in the 24th minute with a lower leg injury. The transfer would not see action the rest of the season.

After being shutout the last three matches, Minnesota exploded against No. 14 Michigan as they recorded four goals in a 4-0 victory at home. Roth served as the team's spark as she notched her first-career hat trick with all of her goals coming in the second half.

Despite snapping the losing streak and having momentum heading into the next week, the Gophers would stumble against Iowa and Illinois before tying with UW-Milwaukee, 2-2. Even though the draw stopped a losing streak, it still continued a winless streak for Minnesota as they would go on and lose their next four matches, making the winless streak seven games long.

Minnesota finally came out on top in their final home match of the year as the topped Drake, 2-1. But the season would end as it started, as the Gophers fell by a 2-0 deficit this time to Denver.

The Maroon & Gold ended the season with a 7-11-1 overall record and 1-9-0 in the conference. Despite what the record says, the Gophers posed threats in nearly all of their contests since seven of their losses came down to a one-goal differential.

Roth was the lone Gopher to receive a Big Ten accolade at the end of the year as she was named to the second team. The junior from Wayzata, Minn. led the team in goals (11), assists (four) and points (26).

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