Blog: Looking Back on 20 Years of Soccer - 2003

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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 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.

Today's installment takes us to 2003, which was another troublesome season for the Golden Gophers as they began the season hot but would falter later in the year to end with a 6-10-2 record.

Schedule/Results l Photo Gallery

The University of Minnesota started the 2003 season on the right track as they defeated Buffalo, 4-2, with four separate players notching a goal. The Golden Gophers followed that victory with a 1-1 draw with Creighton two days later.

The Maroon & Gold hit the road the following weekend for their first road trip to the Wildcat Classic in Evansville, Ill. In their first match, the Gophers dropped a 3-1 decision to Ohio, despite outshooting the Bobcats. Minnesota would rebound from the loss and shutout Florida Atlantic in the next game for a 1-0 triumph.

The following weekend Minnesota would have a one-game weekend, which was at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium against Western Illinois. The Gophers again would record a shutout as they defeated the Lethernecks, 3-0.

The Golden Gophers would remain home the next weekend as they welcomed Purdue for the Big Ten Conference opener. The Boilermakers would notch goals in both halves to trump Minnesota 2-0. The Gophers came back on Sunday to oust Indiana, 2-1.

Minnesota looked to build off their big win over the Hoosiers but slipped up in Michigan as both the Wolverines and Spartans outmatched the Gophers.

The Maroon & Gold snapped the two-game losing streak against Northwestern the following weekend. The Wildcats grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the first half, but the Gophers answered minutes later to tie the match up. A late goal in the first half capped off the 2-1 win.

The Gophers would drop the next two games against Illinois and Colorado. With hopes of getting another Big Ten win, Minnesota came up short but was able to force a tie with Iowa after trailing late in the game.

Minnesota's winless streak would continue as they were defeated in their next four matches.

The Golden Gophers capped off the 2003 campaign with a 2-1 win at Iowa State. The win was significant in that it ended a 13-match road winless streak, as well as a seven-match winless streak.

Big news following the season was that head coach Barbara Wickstrand did not have her contract renewed. Wickstrand spent four years at the helm of the program and compiled a 26-43-4 record. Later in the year, her successor would be named, Mikki Denney Wright.

Haley Lentsch was the bright spot on a tough season for the Gophers as she was selected to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team after leading the team with 19 points and seven goals.

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