Katie Duong's teammates sprayed her with their water bottles when she was announced as the Minnesota Aurora's player of the game after a 6-0 rout of Chicago Dutch Lions FC on Sunday at TCO Stadium.

"I needed that," Duong said afterward, unsure whether her jersey was damp from sweat or celebration — or both — on a humid afternoon with temperatures in the high 80s.

Subbing on at halftime for the Aurora, Duong, a midfielder, assisted on three goals and scored on a long-range rocket to help Minnesota (6-0-2) remain undefeated atop the Heartland Division in its third USL W League season.

"We have the mentality that they're not necessarily substitutes, they're game-changers," Aurora coach Colette Montgomery said of Duong, who typically starts for the team.

A new Aurora addition this summer, Duong played two years at the University of Minnesota before transferring to Stanford. She was selected by the Portland Thorns in this year's National Women's Soccer League draft and trained in the pro team's preseason.

On Sunday, she delivered two second-half corner kicks to teammates Addison Weichers and Morgan Stone. Both headed home Duong's passes during a 20-minute stretch in which the Aurora netted four goals.

"I usually just try to deliver it into a good area, and I feel like we have so many aerial threats on this team that it makes it super easy," Duong said. "This team is so deep."

Duong started Minnesota's second-half scoring spree with a shot fired 30 yards from goal, finding the upper-right corner of the net in the 55th minute. That's now Duong's third consecutive match with a goal, this one a treat for the 6,037 fans in attendance.

"My biggest goal was just to bring some energy into the game. I mean, it's a hot day out today," Duong said. "[I] just saw their back line dropping off a little bit, and I've been trying to work on my long-distance shot, so I decided to hit one."

Opening the scoring in the 16th minute, forward Mariah Nguyen knocked in a rebound after midfielder Sophie French's shot bounced off the crossbar. Nguyen, the team's post-goal celebration coordinator, celebrated with bull horns and a forward somersault. The team pulled out a "duck, duck, gray duck" celebration when French cut past the keeper to score her own goal in the 23rd minute.

Duong's third assist came on a second-half goal from Sofia Bush — making that six goals from six different goal scorers.

Dutch Lions goalkeeper Abigail O'Connor made several close-range saves, but Chicago was unable to get a shot on goal. The Aurora defense posted its second shutout in a row.

"[The defense was] giving each other good covering angles so that we could keep the game in front of us," defender Nicole Norfolk said. "They didn't have too many dangerous chances on goal, and that's always a win for the defense."

Minnesota also beat Dutch Lions FC, which fell to 1-7-0, in an 8-0 rout in May. With four regular-season games remaining, the Aurora look primed to clinch a spot in July's USL W League playoffs.