Kennedy Faulknor scored on a beautiful shot from more than 35 yards out, Maya Hansen added a pair of goals shortly before halftime and Minnesota Aurora defeated the Chicago Dutch Lions 4-0.
Faulknor, a Canadian center back who played collegiately at UCLA, broke a scoreless tie in the 20th minute with a left-footed shot that found the upper-right corner of the net.
"Their defense was dropping off, and I had a lot of space," Faulknor said. "I thought I'd try to take the shot, and it went in!"
Hansen then added goals up close in the 38th and 42nd minutes.
"Starting games as strong as we can is huge," Hansen said of the 3-0 lead af halftime. "We're catching team's on their heels as much as we can. We've emphasized picking our moment about when to go forward."
Mariah Nguyen capped the scoring with a goal in the 89th minute for the Aurora, who made themselves at home playing at Aurora University in Aurora, Ill. The team is off to a 2-0 start this season, having outscored opponents 9-0.
Repeat trip to NCAAs
The Gophers women's 4x100 team of Odell Frye, Lauren Hansen, Akilah Lewis and Amira Young earned a spot in the NCAA outdoor championships for the second year in a row by finishing in 43.86 seconds at the NCAA West Regional in Sacramento, Calif.
Young also advanced in the 100 at a school-record, wind-legal personal best of 11.07 seconds. Lewis just missed out by .02 seconds, clocking at 11.21.
Gophers sophomore Nyalaam Jok fell short of earning a return trip to the NCAAs in the high jump after failing to clear 5-11½. Jok finished sixth at the indoor championships in March with a jump of 6-0¾. She also set a school record at 6-1¼ at an indoor event in December,
After a 26-game winning streak, Bethel's softball season came to an end with a pair of 1-0 losses.
The Royals lost 1-0 to No. 4 Linfield in McMinnville, Ore., for the second day in a row Saturday, sending the host Wildcats (46-4) into the NCAA championships for the seventh time in program history.
Bethel's softball season came to an end at 36-5 after losing another pitchers' duel. Linfield had only three hits Saturday, but one was a one-out bloop single by Ashley Sutton in the top of the fifth, just over the head of Royals shortstop Autumn Earney, to score Brynn Nelson from second.
The Royals managed only two hits against Tayah Kelley, who one-hit them on Friday. Bethel starter Kayla Simacek finished 34-5 with a program single-season record 355 strikeouts.
MSU Mankato falls
Augustana beat Minnesota State Mankato twice on Saturday to win their NCAA Division II baseball super regional in three games in Sioux Falls.
In Saturday's first game, the Vikings (47-19) rallied from an early three-run deficit to win 8-3, getting a homer and four RBI from Tate Meiners of Caledonia — one of 13 players from Minnesota on the Augustana roster. In the second game, Meiners went 4-for-5 with three RBI, Jack Hines hit a grand slam and drove in six runs and the Vikings won 16-2.
Minnesota State (43-18) won Friday 5-4 but fell a victory short of its ninth College World Series and first since 2014. Minnesota State (43-18) won Friday 5-4 but fell a victory short of its ninth College World Series and first since 2014.