After playing in the Yorkshire & Humberside League for seven years, the 1997–98 season saw the team gain promotion to the AXA FA Northern Premier League. After consolidating and adjusting to National League football for a couple of seasons, the team achieved promotion as champions of the Northern Premier League to the Women's Premier League. In that same season they also played in the semi-finals of the FA Women's Cup and the final of the FA Women's Premier League Cup. Leeds finished a credible fourth in their first season in the top flight. The following season proved to be a tough one and Leeds finished the league in seventh place.
The 2003–04 season saw a new manager, Julie Chipchase, appointed and Leeds once again finished in fourth place – the highest-placed team outside London. In the 2004–05 season the side finished in fifth place. The 2005–06 season saw the team accomplish one of its greatest achievements to date, playing in the FA Women's Cup final against Arsenal L.F.C.. Leeds United legend Allan Clarke presented them with sock tags before the match, similar to those worn by the Leeds United male team in their 1972 FA Cup Final victory, in a bid to give the team luck. Nevertheless, the match did not turn out how the team had hoped, with Arsenal winning the game 5–0 .
The 2006–07 season was a fluctuating one, with Leeds topping the table over the Christmas period and the team getting through to the FA Women's Premier League Cup final for a second time. The opposition was Arsenal once again and Leeds put in a much better performance than in their previous cup final appearance, but they cruelly lost out to a last minute strike by Arsenal's Jayne Ludlow. This seemed to have a big impact, as the team didn’t perform as well in the closing stages of the season and they had dropped down to fifth by the end of the season.
A change in management was made in the close season and Rick Passmoor and Leanne Hall were appointed manager and assistant manager respectively in July 2007. The new management team made a number of new signings, including international Steph Houghton, Carly Telford, Katie Holtham, Georgie Adams, Jade Moore and Carly Ward. By March 2008 the team were lying mid-table in the Premier League, finishing in third position 40 points, below Everton 57 points and Arsenal 62 points. The 2007-2008 season saw the club reach their second FA Women's Cup Final their third final in as many years. Arsenal again were their opponents; the match mirrored the previous Premier League Cup final and ended 0-0 at half time, however Arsenal produced most of the chances in the first half and constantly forced United goal keeper Carly Telford into some amazing saves. Action at the opposite end of the pitch was non-existent, as United striker Amanda Barr struggled, however a goal was scored, but later ruled off-side. In the second half Arsenal started aggressively and scored three goals in seven minutes Smith 53, Ludlow 59 ,Sanderson 60. United fought back with a header from Jess Clarke 69, but Arsenal sealed their season double with a final goal from Kelly Smith 83.
Referee: Sasa Ihringova
Player of the match: Carly Telford (Leeds united)
Attendance: 24,582 (new record)
In the 2007-2008 close season Leeds Carnegie Ladies have named two new summer signings Carla Cantrell England U23, previous club Doncaster Rovers Belles and Ellen White England U19 previous club Chelsea Ladies.
The club won the Marketing Club of the year award at the FA Awards in May 2007 for the third consecutive year.
On July 9, 2008, the team announced they where changing their name to Leeds Carnegie Ladies F.C.. This came to ensure all of the professional sports teams Leeds Met University were investing in carried the name of the university's sport department, Carnegie College (including Leeds Carnegie and Yorkshire Carnegie)