By Julian Basena
EAGAN, Minn. — Blossoming and unblemished, surrounded by an adoring fan base, the Aurora (13-0-1) have found themselves at the pinnacle of the new USL W League.
Now in the league championship, set to play South Georgia Tormenta FC (9-1-4) at TCO Stadium in Eagan, one win away from a prized USL W League championship trophy, the Aurora will really get to feel that profound support in a way they never have.
Tickets for Saturday night’s final sold out in less than 24 hours of availability – another first in a season full of them.
With each win more fans have arrived to TCO Stadium in droves to see the home team’s flashy offensive play and the Aurora’s tactically sound defense. The mind-bending passing attack and cheeky dribbles have a charm that draws in viewers, too.
There also happens to be a rather unique and welcoming family environment that fans cherish – a diversion of typical sporting events that can get rowdy.
“This is just like everybody from all walks of life enjoying the stadium and the vibes here,” one fan said before the Aurora’s first playoff match, “the fans are really supportive and really friendly.”
The Aurora are set to face a team much like them in regards to the offensive appeal. Tormenta, however, plays primarily through one woman. Forward Amy Andrews, the league’s inaugural Golden Boot winner with a resounding 16 goals in 10 appearances, will be Minnesota’s stiffest individual challenger yet. She averages a goal every 53 minutes.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper and team captain Sydney Martinez, the Golden Glove winner of the season, will be patrolling between the posts for Tormenta. Martinez recorded six clean sheets on the season. Opponents average .58 points per contest with Martinez at goal.