On Wednesday night at TCO Stadium in Eagan, Minnesota, Aurora — the state’s young community-owned women’s soccer team — made history with a record crowd of 6,200 inside the ground for a USL W League playoff quarterfinal against Indy Eleven.
TCO is the Minnesota Vikings’ regular practice facility and draws large crowds there for training camp, but even the Vikings have never drawn so many people to the state-of-the-art performance center that opened in 2018.
Aurora actually wasn’t too far behind Major League Soccer’s lowest attendance on Wednesday night – 10,027 at DRV PNK Stadium for Inter Miami against Philadelphia – and it’s worth noting that just 10 miles north, Minnesota United announced a crowd of 19,657 at Allianz Field for a visit from Sporting Kansas City.
It’s a very affordable ticket ($14.30) with the seating plan almost entirely general admission. Large halls and a grassy hill behind a goal add to the family atmosphere, and there are plenty of vantage points for those who prefer to stand along the outside rail. For those who like a more active experience there is the group of MN Revontulet supporters banging drums, blowing horns and waving flags.
The mood on the pitch really picked up in the 25th minute when the team’s most recognizable player was called into action.
Goaltender Sarah Fuller – who made history in 2020 by becoming the first woman to play and score in a Power 5 college football game – was asked to keep things scoreless after Indy Eleven got a penalty for a clear handball.
Fuller pushed the attempt wide and the crowd started chanting his name.
BRICK WALL FULLER™️ pic.twitter.com/OkRFahpjwf
Indy Eleven opened the scoring before halftime, but Minnesota responded in the 50th minute with a 20-yard howler from former DePaul Blue Demons star Morgan Turner.
No words. pic.twitter.com/nO2ZgVfFk2
The game winner for Aurora came from the penalty spot in the 66th minute. Mayu Inokawa may have set the record for the longest approach of all time.
After drawing their inaugural game, Minnesota has now won 12 straight to reach the USL W League semifinals. Aurora hosts McLean Soccer Sunday at 5 p.m. CT while Greenville Liberty hosts Tormenta FC the same day in the other semi-final.