In front of a record breaking sold out crowd of 6,200 fans, Minnesota Aurora defeated Indy Eleven 2-1 in the USL W League quarterfinals. The team recorded an undefeated regular season (11-0-1) and now advances to the semifinals vs. McLean Soccer on Sunday at 5 p.m. at TCO Stadium.
Goalkeeper Sarah Fuller recorded 28 saves during the regular season, but her most important save was in the 25th minute. After an unfortunate deflection into the hand of Addy Symmonds, Fuller faced down Madison Williams in a penalty kick. Fuller read the shot, dove to her left to push the shot away from goal, and preserved the 0-0 score.
Before the half, Indy Eleven’s Ella Rogers scored to give her team a one-goal lead, turning the momentum.
Until this match, Aurora had never faced a deficit going into the halftime break, but Minnesota didn’t give up.
Morgan Turner’s thundering shot from outside of the 18-yard box was the 1-1 equalizer in the 50th minute. Turner had six goals in the regular season, leading the team. Turner scored three goals against the Green Bay Glory in the game prior and has a four-game scoring streak.
Aurora took the lead 2-1 following a penalty kick goal from Mayu Inokawa – the first of her Aurora career. Inokawa normally plays on the defensive line but stepped up into a new midfield role. Sarah Fuller said, “I’m so proud of her! She’s improved so much, and it’s shown tonight in the playoffs.” The game was Inowkawa’s first start too.
Jill Bennet received her second yellow card of the match in the dwindling minutes of the game, resulting in a red card and ejection. Bennet will miss the semifinal match against McLean Soccer.
Head Coach Nicole Lukic was thrilled with her team’s performance tonight. “We keep taking one game at a time, so we’re going to rest, enjoy the moment today, and tomorrow start preparing for Sunday.”
With the victory over Indy Eleven, Minnesota Aurora advances to the USL W League semifinals on July 17 at 5pm. Aurora will host McLean Soccer at TCO Stadium. Schedule and ticket information can be found at mnaurora.com. Tickets are available now.