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JC stops struggling Stars

By Justin Sokeland

BEDFORD – Bedford North Lawrence ended one troubling streak but could not stop another.

The Stars scored for the first time since their season opener, yet came up a shot short as Jennings County pulled out a 2-1 triumph on Thursday evening.

Naomi Beal scored both goals for the Panthers (6-2, 2-0 in the Hoosier Hills Conference). BNL (1-6, 0-4) dropped its sixth straight match.

BNL first-year coach D.J. West made a lineup adjustment, shifting more aggressive attackers to the front. That worked as BNL generated 10 shots (compared to 5 by Jennings) and had multiple chances to finally end a five-match scoreless skid.

They broke through late as Gabby Wilson converted a penalty kick with 22 seconds remaining.

“We finally broke the net,” West said. “That’s why we made the change. I was happy with the lineup. It gives us more strength up front and we were able to get better looks.”

Beal started the scoring with a quick goal, converting a close-range putaway at 36:13 of the first half after a shot hit the crossbar and deflected away from starting goalie Claire Nordhoff on the rock-hard, water-thirsty playing surface.

The second goal was the difference maker. Beal converted a penalty kick, following a foul call against second-half goalie Hannah Riester for shoving a defender out of the way, with 25:43 left.

“We’re still in the game and that hurts,” West said. “It’s a good call but a bad break. Being down two goals is tough. When you’re struggling like we are, it seems every call goes against you.”

BNL got on the board – twice actually. Katherine West scored, but officials erased that as a hand-ball foul was called against a Jennings defender in the box. Wilson was awarded the penalty kick, which she booted home.

The Stars will return to action on Saturday morning, hosting Madison.