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Minnesota Aurora heats up in the second half and beats Chicago Dutch Lions 6-0

Some of the first fans to enter TCO Stadium made their way to the shaded areas of the stands. The day was already hot and humid; Minnesota Aurora FC was set to warm up during the second half of Sunday’s match.

Aurora midfielder Katie Duong scored a long-range rocket and assisted on three more goals as Minnesota defeated Chicago Dutch Lions FC 6-0. Three goals came in an eight-minute span to start Aurora’s four-goal second half.

Minnesota remains undefeated (6-0-2) and atop the Heartland Division standings in its third USL W League season. The Chicago Dutch Lions (1-7-0) are in last place, having also lost 8-0 to Minnesota in May.

After Duong awarded a free kick to midfielder Sophie French and French placed her shot on the Dutch Lions crossbar, forward Mariah Nguyen hit the rebound into the net to put the Aurora up 1-0 in the 16th minute.

Seven minutes later, French scored her own goal. Midfielder Sofia Bush poked a pass between Chicago defenders, and French shot past the keeper to fire the ball home.

Finding the third goal took patience for Minnesota. Chicago goalkeeper Abigail O’Connor made three saves in the first five minutes of the second half, including lunging to smother a breakaway from Aurora forward Saige Wimes.

But O’Connor couldn’t do much other than watch as Duong ripped a long shot from outside the 18-yard box and tucked Minnesota’s third goal into the top right corner of the net. Two minutes later, Sofia scored Minnesota’s fourth goal – her first of the season – off a pass from Duong.

Duong recorded another assist when she delivered a corner kick to the head of an unmarked Addison Weichers in the 63rd minute. The captain-midfielder scored her header less than two minutes after coming on as a substitute. The 6,037 fans in attendance were treated to an almost identical goal in the 76th minute, with Duong serving another corner to the head of wide-open midfielder Morgan Stone.

French’s twin sister, defenseman Lillie French, also made her Aurora debut on Sunday. She is a Boise State alum who played professionally in Australia. She provides another sibling connection in addition to the Rapp triplets on the roster.