Bayside blanks two

GARDEN CORNERS – Bayside Soccer Club continued its winning ways Saturday, blanking Big Bay de Noc 7-0 and Manistique Soccer Club 6-0 to earn top honors in the Big Bay Invitational.

Sophomore forward/midfielder James Bruce scored a hat trick, including a goal on a penalty kick to give the Escanaba-based team a 4-0 advantage over Manistique early in the second half.

Senior forward/midfielder Jarod Bisseau then gave Bayside (9-0-1) a 5-0 lead on a breakaway and finished the scoring from directly in front of the net.

“Our team is getting better,” said Bayside coach Glenn Gregg. “I think Manistique is improving, too. They’ve gotten more aggressive, which is a sign of good coaching.”

Bruce, who had an assist on the last goal, also helped set up Calvin Pinar’s tally for a 3-0 cushion late in the first half.

Sophomore Kevin Priebe got an assist on Bruce’s first goal, with Pinar helping on the second tally.

“Kevin usually plays in goal for us,” said Bayside coach Glenn Gregg. “It’s great to see him participate in that situation. It’s kind of a gift for him to get that. We weren’t expecting that from him.”

Bruce hit two unassisted goals to go with a pair of assists against Big Bay. Pinar also scored twice.

Bisseau scored Bayside’s third goal and junior midfielder Keegan Porath gave the winners a 4-0 advantage late in the first half, with senior Jamie Hiltunen credited with assists on both goals.

Bayside is scheduled to host the Marquette jayvees Tuesday at 5 p.m.

In the finale, Manistique earned its first victory this season in a 3-1 conquest of Big Bay.

Manistique finished the scoring in the second half when Jake Burnis redirected a shot from David Pratt.

“We wanted to get a little cushion,” said Manistique assistant coach Tom Burnis. “When we got up by two, it was a sign for us to put the younger kids in. Anytime you get a win, it gives you a boost of confidence. We’re real happy with this one.”

Joesph Block gave Manistique an early 1-0 lead from in front of net.

Big Bay’s Brett LaLonde then tied the score on a right-angle shot from inside the box.

“I certainly thought we had a chance to gain some momentum,” said Big Bay coach Gary Sporer. “I felt if we relaxed we could play with them, and we got very aggressive toward the end. In the second half, they put Zach Wheaton in net, who’s exceptionally quick. It’s hard to get anything past him. It was difficult to control the middle of the field, but our biggest weakness today is we didn’t pass well.”

Manistique responded a short time later, taking a 2-1 lead on Pratt’s shot from point-blank range.

“I was starting to get a little nervous when they tied the score,” said assistant coach Burnis, filling in for head coach Dave Muxlow who missed the match due to a family emergency. “When we had the lead we were just hoping to build on it and give everyone some playing time. I think we came into this match with quite a bit of momentum despite the outcome against Escanaba. We were loosened up and ready to go.”

Manistique hosts Sault Ste. Marie High School Saturday, then travels to Niagara, Wis. for a doubleheader on Sunday.

Big Bay (0-7) visits Iron Mountain Tuesday and hosts Copper Country Christian Friday.