NEW BUFFALO — The New Buffalo High School soccer team topped visiting Bridgman 7-1 on Oct. 3.
Matthew Bayonne scored the Bison’s first three goals (two in the first half, with Nick Keen, Harrison Bourne and Jacob Nerada getting assists) to build a 3-0 lead early in the second half.
Bridgman cut the margin to 3-1 with 26:26 left in the second half when Gabe Belmontes booted in a penalty kick, but New Buffalo answered loudly by scoring four more goals down the stretch (Miguel Mercado off a corner kick; Nick Keen on a penalty kick and later on the run to make it 6-1; and Nerada off a pass from Mercado.
Coach Erik Beers said the Bison lost their first league match against Covert 2-1 earlier in the week, but still led the BCS White Conference by a half game with contests left against Lawrence (Oct. 7 — a 5-1 New Buffalo win with two goals scored by Bayonne and Nick Keen and one by Nerada) and Lake Michigan Catholic on Oct. 8 (an 8-0 victory that made New Buffalo conference champs).
A crucial home-field victory happened on Sept. 23 by a 2-1 margin over Howardsville Christian.
New Buffalo will host Michigan Lutheran on Oct. 10 in the first round of districts. The winner advances to a semifinal in Hartford on Oct. 15.
Bridgman is scheduled to begin district play at Bangor on Oct. 10.
The Bees bested Comstock 3-1 on Sept. 25 (Belmonte, Ezra Clapsaddle and Aidden Sonnenberg scored goals); tied Coloma 1-1 on Sept. 26 (Belmontes tallied the lone Bridgman goal); and edged Brandywine 2-1 on Oct. 2 to go 4-1 in the BCS Red Division.