ST. JOSEPH — The New Buffalo High School boys soccer team got its drive to win a first-ever conference title off to a strong start on Friday, Aug. 23, besting Michigan Lutheran 6-0.
New Buffalo was on the attack early, but Titan goalkeeper Cameron Guse made a string of saves to keep the score 0-0.
Matthew Bayonne tallied the first goal 16 minutes into the action on a charge toward the net when Guse came way out (Jacob Nerada had the assist).
About a minute later Nerada used his head to knock in the second score.
Joe Wick was credited with that assist — “He used his mind and just teleported it to my head.” Nerada quipped.
Soon thereafter Michigan Lutheran made a bid to cut the lead in half on a penalty kick, but keeper Josh Keen made a diving save for the Bison.
With about three minutes remaining in the first half Bayonne got a header goal off a pass from Nick Keen to make it 3-0.
Cole Haskins then charged the net and booted the ball in for a 4-0 half-time advantage.
The Bison tacked on two more goals in the second half as Nick Keen raced past the Titan defense for a clear shot (Harrison Bourne was credited with the assist) and later kicked the ball in again off a pass from Haskins.
Coach Erik Beers said he was very happy with the way the Bison played on both offense and defense.
New Buffalo has quite a few seniors and juniors to make a run at the program’s first-ever conference crown (the Bison won its first district title in 2016)
The Bison were coming off a 6-4 victory over Watervliet on Aug. 20 (Bayonne had four goals while Keen and Miguel Mercado also scored).
Bayonne, who played soccer at Michigan City and New Mexico Military Academy before coming to New Buffalo, said I’m trying to come on strong — its a great start.”
New Buffalo tied Howardsville Christian 3-3 on Monday, Aug. 26.
Scorong goals for the Bison were Bayonne (assist Miguel Mercado); Nick Keen (on a penalty kick); and Nerada (assist Bayonne).