Aurora wins over St. Louis, reclaims top spot in the standings
Minnesota Aurora FC continued its undefeated season (2-0-1) with a 3-2 road win over the St. Louis Lions. The win puts Minnesota at the top of the division standings, thanks to two wins on their massive 1200 mile road trip through the southern reaches of the Heartland Division.
“It gives the team a lot of confidence that we can go on the road and win games,” said Head Coach Nicole Lukic. “And we really appreciate the fans that followed us on the road.”
St. Louis showed plenty of fight early, forcing the Minnesota defense to recover, but Aurora was first to the scoreboard. Forward Maya Hansen notched her first Aurora goal in the 14th minute off a high arching cross from Eli Rapp, who’s cemented a role on the back line thanks to her consistent presence and savvy ability to work forward in the attack. From an almost impossible angle, Hansen slid to her right and somehow got enough contact on the ball to slip it past the St. Louis keeper.
Just minutes later, Aurora extended their lead in the 25th minute as Mariah Nguyen beat a defender on the left wing, worked down the end line toward goal and – after the keeper saved her initial shot – finished the rebound into the side netting.
After a water break to help players counteract the 86 degree heat, St. Louis got on the board as Chloe Netzel broke through the Aurora backline off a goal kick and lofted a ball over keeper Sarah Fuller to cut the Minnesota lead in half.
Whatever Head Coach Nicole Lukic said at halftime worked. Aurora came out firing, extending their lead to 3-1 moments after the second half whistle. On a corner kick initially headed on frame by Morgan Stone, MacKenzie Langdok buried the rebound to reestablish Aurora’s two goal lead.
But St. Louis wasn’t done. With just minutes left to play, Chloe Netzel got on the board again, cutting the lead to one goal on a free kick just outside the box. Aurora returns home to TCO Stadium on Friday night vs. Chicago City SC.