Simon Fraser Clan too hot for the Hawaii-Hilo Vulcans

The Clan were back at it on Tuesday night when they hosted the Hawaii-Hilo Vulcans in a preseason friendly at Fox Field. And just as they had when they hosted the Sonoma State Seawolves, they got off to an early start. 

The first one came in the 11th minute when Joel Malouf headed it home thanks to a perfectly weighted Alex Rowley corner kick. Not five minutes later, they had doubled the lead when Ryan Dhillon spotted a Jovan Blagojevic run. The Delta-native made a six-yard cross inside the box to find the foot of Coquitlam's Jovan Blagojevic, who put it into the back of the net with his first touch. 

The Clan had a lot of the ball in the first half, taking thirteen shots in total. But it wasn't all one-way traffic. The Vulcans had come to play and in the 34th minute, they forced Ivan Hutsulyak into a difficult save to preserve the clean sheet.

In the second half, Hawaii-Hilo regrouped and put Simon Fraser under pressure, but they weathered it well. In the 53rd minute, George Wakefield found himself on the wrong side of Niko Schroettle. When tackling an opponent in the box, you have to win the ball. But Wakefield got the man first, and the referee signalled for a penalty kick. 

Mike Reckmeyer and Robert Hyams have the first of many encounters in the Battle of the 24's.

Mike Reckmeyer and Robert Hyams have the first of many encounters in the Battle of the 24's.

The Captain stepped up and Blagojevic put the Clan up by three. For the Clan, the game seemed to end there. Up by three with 37 minutes left to play, they took their foot off the gas pedal and allowed the Vulacns to creep back into the match. 

In the 72nd minute, Mike Reckmeyer was on the near side of the post when he took a bicycle kick to fire the Vulcans back into the match and create some excitement for the spectators.

Seven minutes later, while battling with Anthony Van DeVendel, James Yamane theatrically threw himself to the ground to con the referee into awarding a penalty. In truth, the Vulcans probably did deserve a second goal by that point. But not through a dubious penalty.

Suddenly the game was in doubt. The Clan could either let their island visitors tie it up, or fight back. And they fought back. Woken from their stupor, Simon Fraser pressured the Vulcan defence until finally Englishman Callum Powell put the match to bed with an 81st minute strike to make it 4-2.

Next up for the Clan is a trip to California where they'll play a friendly with the Azusa Pacific Cougars. From there, they make their way up to Bellingham for the season opener against the Western Washington Vikings on September 20th. The home opener is set for September 25th when they host the MSU-Billings Yellowjackets.

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