Buchanan blanks Chieftains 5-0

Published 4:54 pm Thursday, September 21, 2023

BUCHANAN — The Lakeland Conference soccer chase has come down to just two teams.

Host Buchanan remained in the hunt for a championship as it defeated Dowagiac, the defending conference champs, for a second time this season as the Bucks blanked the Chieftains 5-0 Wednesday night.

With the win, Buchanan improved to 2-1-1 in conference matches. The Bucks are chasing Brandywine, which defeated Berrien Springs 3-1 Wednesday night to stay atop the league standings with a 3-0-1 record.

The Bucks bounced back from a draw with Berrien Springs in its previous match as they scored three times in the opening 40 minutes and then added a pair of second-half goals.

Britain Philip had four of the five Buchanan goals, while Nathan Hollingsworth also found the back of the net. The Bucks got assists from Easton May, Hunter Harrington, Caiden Troup and Guido Bassani.

Mason Frontczak, son of Dowagiac alum Ryan Frontczak, had eight saves as the Chieftains managed 11 shots on goal. The Bucks had 17 shots on goal. Tyler Hannapel had five saves.

“Coming off a poor performance at Berrien, we made some changes in key positions that really helped open up our game,” said Buchanan Coach Russell Philip. “Looking forward to some conference rematches in the near future.”

Dowagiac Coach Joey Pasternak needs to figure out how to play a full 80 minutes of soccer.

“Guys are still having trouble putting what we do in practice into the games,” he said. “It’s like we cross over the line and forget everything we do in practice. We also came out flat in the first half and went down early and couldn’t recover in the second half we picked up the pressure and controlled big chunks of the game just couldn’t finish the opportunities. We are starting to get some guys back from injury but still missing a few key players.”

Buchanan will travel to Niles Wednesday to take on Brandywine for first place in the Lakeland Conference. Dowagiac’s next match is Wednesday at Berrien Springs.