2003 Women's Soccer 10th Anniversary
Sept. 24, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - This weekend marks the 10th anniversary celebration of the incredible run of the 2003 Villanova Women's Soccer team which remains as one of the most successful teams in school history. The incredible run by the '03 squad claimed the first BIG EAST Women's Soccer Championship title and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
Unbeaten in the last 10 games of the season, the Wildcats concluded the year ranked 14th in the nation in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Poll despite having no players named to the All-BIG EAST First Team. Many have described the squad as one the best examples of how far a true "team" can go when they band together as one.
The Wildcats began the season with a seven game win streak and outscored their opponents by a 14-3 margin during that run to propel them on the national scene. After falling in a close 1-0 match at No. 20 Boston College on Sept. 21st, Villanova surged back in BIG EAST Conference regular season action and earned a spot in the conference championship where they would go on to defeat Connecticut 1-0 in the first round of play.
In what would become familiar territory for Villanova in the coming matches, the Wildcats defeated West Virginia in the BIG EAST semifinals by a 5-4 margin in penalty kicks which set them up for a rematch against Boston College in the championship tilt. After finishing regulation deadlocked at 1-1, the Wildcats bounced back when it mattered most to defeat the Eagles 7-6 in penalty kicks to claim the first and only women's soccer conference championship in Villanova history.
The NCAA Selection Committee sent Villanova to Charlottesville, Va. for the opening round of the national tournament and were set to take on the Princeton Tigers in the first round of play. The `Cats flourished and scored two goals in a two-minute span from Lindsey Finnegan and Elizabeth Dauble and held on for the victory as they posted a 2-1 win over the Tigers. A showdown with Virginia on their home field loomed but the Wildcats once again won a 4-2 penalty kick duel to send themselves to the round of 16.
Villanova returned home to face BYU at West Campus Soccer Complex and found themselves in another 0-0 tie which would send the contest once again into penalty kicks. After a goalie change by BYU prior to the start of kicks, the Cougars clinched the victory to end Villanova's storybook season by a 5-3 margin.
Lindsey Finnegan led the team on the year with 21 points via eight goals and five assists while 13 players contributed points throughout the season. Chrissy Dolan played all 2,250:27 minutes in goal for the Wildcats and posted an incredible .480 goals against average and a .893 save percentage. Dolan's games, minutes played and shutouts still stand as an all-time record for Villanova goalkeepers.
2003 Women's Soccer Season Highlights: