May 27, 2023

Aurora Finishes Four Goals in Win Over Chicago Dutch Lions


CHICAGO, Ill. – Coming off of a 5-0 win against Rochester FC on May 24, Minnesota Aurora came into tonight’s match versus Chicago Dutch Lions looking to build off that momentum. 

Minnesota Aurora started the first half hot with a flurry of shots, but Chicago Dutch Lions’ goalkeeper Caitlin Richards kept the score 0-0 until the 21st minute. 

“Their defense was dropping off, and I had a lot of space,” said center back Kennedy Faulknor. “I thought I’d try to take the shot, and it went in!”

Faulknor undersells her description of the goal. She received an outlet pass and dribbled into space before rocketing a shot over 35 yards out, aiming for the upper 90 of the goal frame. Richards couldn’t stop the well-placed shot, and Aurora took the lead 1-0.

The tempo slowed after Faulknor’s goal. Minnesota Aurora held possession in the attacking third, but they didn’t have the same number of quality scoring chances as they did in the opening 20 minutes. 

Mariah Nguyen created a spark in the draining minutes of the first half. Sprinting down the left sideline and showcasing her speed, Nguyen chased down the ball and slid it across the face of goal to a waiting Maya Hansen. 

Aurora extended their lead to 3-0 five minutes later. Cat Rapp stepped into the Dutch Lions’ passing lane as they attempted to clear to win possession. Then, Rapp played a quick pass to Maya Hansen at the top of the attacking formation, and Hansen beat Richards to score her second goal of the night. Hansen now has seven points in the 2023 season (three goals, one assist). 

“Starting games as strong as we can is huge,” said Star of the Game Maya Hansen on the three first half goals. “We’re catching team’s on their heels as much as we can. We’ve emphasized picking our moment about when to go forward.”

The match settled down in the second half, but Minnesota Aurora found a fourth goal in the dwindling minutes of the match to end 4-0.

In the 89th minute, Mariah Nguyen scored her first goal of the 2023 campaign. Newcomer from Ole Miss, Brenlin Mullaney, notched her first career point with the assist on Nguyen’s goal getting a touch off a corner kick from the right side of the field.