Morgan Turner’s goal is the difference maker to send Minnesota Aurora FC to the USL W League championship game at TCO Stadium on July 23rd and 7 p.m.
Minnesota Aurora hosted McLean Soccer in the semifinal round at TCO Stadium. Despite the brief downpour before kickoff, 6,200 fans cheered Aurora to victory – rain or shine. The full capacity sellout is the second in TCO Stadium’s history; both sellouts were Aurora’s playoff games (quarterfinals July 13 and semifinals July 17).
The rain stopped before the game began, but the precipitation created slippery turf. Passes rolled farther than usual, and players slid, resulting in more fouls. The referee blew his whistle often, and the stop and start of the game made it difficult for both teams to establish a rhythm.
Aurora’s best chance in the first half began from a McLean defensive turnover. Maya Hansen found the ball at her feet deep in the attacking third, but goalkeeper Ella Grantman rushed out to smother the ball and prevent Hansen from scoring.
The teams went into the halftime break 0-0.
Morgan Turner came off the bench as a substitute at the half. Seven minutes later, Turner scored the game’s lone goal. Hansen found Turner wide on the right side of the field, and Turner beat a McLean defender to put the ball on her left foot and slipp her shot under the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Grantman.
Turner continues to amaze. The goal is her eighth of the season and extends her goal scoring streak to five games.
McLean Soccer wasn’t discouraged by the deficit and pushed players into the attack to find a tying goal. The last 15 minutes of the game were gritty, but Aurora held onto their lead. “We talked about how our communication needed to be top tier,” said defender Abby Ostrem, Star of the Game. “It came down to defending as a team, staying with our marks in the box, and defending 1v1 on the outside.”
Head Coach Nicole Lukic was proud of her team’s performance. “Our players did a really good job of playing true to who we are and battling through it.”
With the victory over McLean Soccer, Minnesota Aurora advances to the USL W League championship on July 23 at 7pm. Aurora will host the winner of South Georgia Tormenta FC versus Greenville Liberty SC at TCO Stadium. Schedule and ticket information can be found at mnaurora.com. Tickets are available now.