CHI @ MIN 7/6 Recap

Photo by Meghan White

Written By: Ryan Baker, Journalist

It was an unusual performance this past Saturday from the prolific Minnesota Wind Chill defense. They were taken down in their own home by the Chicago Union, 25-20.

Besides this last game and the matchup with the Indianapolis AlleyCats a few weeks ago, the Wind Chill haven’t let up more than 17 goals in a game this year. In the first quarter alone, Minnesota got scored on eight times. Three turnovers from O-line within the first three points put Minnesota down 3-0 immediately.

From there, that hole was too deep for the Wind Chill to climb out of, as they weren’t able to tie up the game or take the lead the rest of the way. Minnesota only had three breaks all game, even though they were given 22 opportunities. To add on to that, they were only able to manage six blocks all game, and saw their hold percentage nearly 20 percent worse than the Union.

“My number one takeaway is that anything short of our best focus and energy is not going to get it done. Chicago played like they were desperate to win, and we didn’t match that level of focus. It’s tough sledding when you find yourself in a hole right out of the gate. The bright side is that is something within our control,” said Berry.

After going down 5-8 in the opening quarter, the two teams traded shots all of the second quarter. However, a last second goal for the Union before the half, allowed Chicago to extend their lead to four. The third quarter was much of the same. Trading shots, but at a higher clip ended the third with a score of 16-20.

The final quarter opened up with four points that lasted nearly six and a half total minutes. Within that long four point stretch, Minnesota was able to only score once. Eventually, the clock became that eighth defender against the Wind Chill. Down five with five minutes left to play was too much to overcome.

Chicago came in to Sea Foam Stadium and, arguably, played one of their best games of the year. Meanwhile, the three turns right away in the game on execution errors played into the overall rough performance for Minnesota.

“I’m not going to sugarcoat it. We need an increase in energy and attention from the second we walk in the gates, and we need to sustain a reasonable level throughout the game. Attacking every practice, warmup rep, and game possession with head, hustle, and heart is necessary for us to succeed. I didn’t feel like we put our best foot forward this week, and it reflected in our output on Saturday,” said Brandon Matis.

Will Brandt added on five assists to bring his 2024 total to 25 in just five games. Another player that helped lead Minnesota was Colin Berry. Berry walked away with four assists, three goals, and one of Minnesota’s six blocks. Finally, Gordon Larson became the season receiving yard leader for Minnesota by racking up 309 receiving yards.

Overall, the result of the game doesn’t affect Minnesota all that much as they stand at 8-2 on the season. Yes, they are fighting for a top seed when it comes to championship weekend, but they still have the Central Division title clinched. More so, this game showed the strength that Chicago can have, and the mistakes that Minnesota needs to clean up.

“There’s no panic button here. We’re not blowing things up just because of one loss to a good opponent who played a great game. This week is a unique challenge in an amazing environment with a chance for us to prove to the league and ourselves that we can vie for a title. We’ll be hungry as hell for it,” said Matis.

Those mistakes will definitely need to be cleaned up with an upcoming Super Series game against the New York Empire at TCO Stadium this weekend. TCO Stadium, which is primarily the Minnesota Vikings’ practice facility, will be a one-week host for Minnesota.