After drawing the Matchday One in Bellingham, the Clan started early on Friday night against the Yellowjackets. The Clan's Captain, Jovan Blagojevic, earned himself a penalty kick less than 20 seconds into the game. MSU-Billings goalkeeper Tom Lohmann went right, and Blagojevic went left to easily convert the penalty with a right-footed shot into the bottom corner.
Less than a dozen minutes later, MSU-Billings were buzzing around at the other end, earning themselves a penalty kick. Clan goalkeeper Brandon Watson guessed correctly, but Thorge Jess summoned the power of the Gods to drive his shot into the back of the net. And really, could we have expected anything less of a German penalty taker?
Fortunately, the Clan had a German of their own in Nico Schroettle, who was able to restore the lead in the 21st minute. Fifteen minutes later, Ryan Dhillon made it 3-1. Regular service appeared to have resumed.
But how wrong we were.
With a hive-like mentality, the Yellowjackets continued to probe the Clan's defences, looking for openings to exploit. And though it would take them more than half an hour, a goalkeeping change, and a straight red for the Clan's Joseph Martin, the men from Montana would never give up hope.
In the 68th minute, shortly after Ivan Hutsulyak had come on for Watson, Colin Ralston would score his first goal of the game. Less than five minutes later, he would tie it up at 3-apiece.
Martin's ejection may have been the catalyst for the Yellowjackets comeback, but we're still not sure what he did.
Notably, a few of the supporters called out to the referee asking for an explanation, but none was forthcoming.
NCAA is known for a few quirks, such as the clock ticking down from 45 minutes, stopping the clock instead of adding stoppage time, and in the event of a draw, two ten-minute halves of golden goal.
Considering that the Clan had to play for more than sixty minutes with only ten men, it should be noted that five minutes aside, they never looked like they were down a man.
The visitors almost won it at the death, and there seemed to be some confusion on the pitch whether or not the goal was scored before the end of regulation time, but in the end, no goal was the call and the game went into extra time.
Towards the end of the second half of extra time, the Yellowjackets saw Jess earn a second yellow, and then his teammate Strom Nuernberger earned himself a yellow, and before the match had even resumed, earned himself a second. On a card-happy night, the players combined for ten yellows and a red.
The Clan will be back in action at Fox Field on Saturday night when they host the Northwest Nazarene Crusaders before heading on a trip through Washington and the Dakotas.