EAGAN, Minn. — The dream of a perfect season came crashing to the ground for Minnesota Aurora FC, who lost the USL W League Championship 1-2 in overtime to the South Georgia Tormenta.
It was a bitter end to a sweet campaign that saw the Aurora go undefeated (11-0-1) before dropping the championship game to the Tormenta in the second 15-minute OT period.
The game got off to a tough start with South Georgia scoring in the 8th minute. Tormenta FC drew a foul at midfield and the long kick that followed sailed into the box. During the chaos that ensued Jaidi Nyby slipped past the Aurora defense and beat goalkeep Sarah Fuller to jump out to a 1-0 lead.
A throw in that seemed harmless later in the half ended up on the foot of Addy Symonds, who rocketed a long shot into the upper corner, beating Tormenta goalkeeper Sydney Martinez to tie the game at one.
After 90 minutes the score was still knotted up, and USL W League overtime rules designate two 15-minute periods with five minutes rest in between. There is no sudden death, and the teams are required to play the entire 30 minutes.
The Aurora nearly claimed the crown when Tormenta FC was called for a hand violation in the box. Minnesota's Morgan Turner rocketed a penalty kick but was turned away by a spectacular Martinez save.
Eventually, South Georgia's pressure in the offensive end paid off. Another scramble gave the Tormenta's Nyby her second goal of the night, and the Aurora could not manage another tying goal in the time remaining.
Despite the heart-wrenching loss it was an amazing inaugural season for the community-owned soccer club. There were 6,489 fans in the stands at TCO stadium, a sellout that reflects the momentum of the new franchise.
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