USL-W Spotlight: Minnesota Aurora finishes home schedule with pair of massive wins

Weichers rises up to win the corner

After throttling the Chicago Dutch Lions on the 16th of June, Minnesota Aurora capped off their home schedule last weekend with a Thursday-Saturday set of matches, capping off a three match homestand. The opening game of the swing saw Aurora take down Bavarian United 5–0 in a dominating performance. On Saturday afternoon, Aurora hosted their annual Pride Night match, defeating Chicago City SC 4–1 in another outstanding performance. The wins kept Aurora on top of the Heartland Division table exiting the weekend, but were not without their moments of adversity.

The Thursday night opener had a 6-2-0 (W-D-L) with 20 points Aurora squad face off with Bavarian United SC for the first of two times on the season. Bavarians entered the match at 4-1-3 with 2 consecutive losses coming into the match and only one substitute on the bench. Just 13 minutes into the match, Aurora scored their opening goal of what would become five on the night after a Katie Duong to Mariah Nguyen to Julia Sattler combination.


Aurora took a 4-0 lead into the break after goals from Katie Duong, Saige Wimes, and Addy Weichers. The Katie Duong show continued with her snatching Aurora’s fifth goal of the evening in the 77th minute on a wonderful curling shot off a free kick. Duong finish the night with a brace and two assists, outdoing her outstanding performance from the previous weekend against Chicago Dutch Lions.

“I’ve just been having so much fun playing here. It’s been really fun to play with this team, I think just starting to find my rhythm and the rhythm with the team as well has been super fun these last couple games,” Katie Duong said about her performances against Bavarians and Dutch Lions.

After one day of rest between, Aurora returned to the pitch on Saturday afternoon to face off with Chicago City SC in their second clash of the season. After drawing in Chicago earlier in the season, Aurora looked to rebound with a big win at home in Eagan.

Just two minutes into the match Katie Duong scored another goal on the weekend on yet another beautiful free kick goal.

Mariah Nguyen put in the second goal of the first half to put Aurora up 2-0 heading into the break. In the second half Chicago scored their only goal of the evening on a penalty kick after Julia Sattler was called for a foul inside the box. Two minutes later in the 57′ Mariah Nguyen earned herself a brace and put Aurora up 3-0, while Kelis Barton finished off the scoring for the hosts.

“These fans are amazing and hearing hearing all the younger girls scream number 51 is really really fun, especially when I’m taking throw in so now really grateful for the crowd,” defender Kelis Barton said after defeating Chicago City. “Really grateful for our community. So good pride night turnout and yeah, despite the weather I’m glad we got a good dub and took care of business.”

Minnesota Aurora (8-0-2 | W-L-D) heads to Wisconsin this week for a two game swing in the Badger State. Thursday night is a rematch between Aurora and Bavarian United SC. Bavarians (5-4-1) are already out of the playoff race, but will attempt to make the final weekend a difficult one for Aurora. Minnesota currently leads second place River Light by a single point but can clinch the Heartland Division with a win on Thursday night.

“We’re taking it game by game. We’ve said that the whole season. We’re into Bavarian on Thursday night and then RKC on the weekend. So one game at a time on half at a time,” Aurora coach Colette Montgomery said. “We’re not getting ahead of ourselves. I think this group has done really well in staying locked into the task at hand.