By Justin Sokeland
BEDFORD – The body count has caught up to Bedford North Lawrence.
The Stars started with five starters sidelined with injuries, finished with no available substitutes as more players went down, and predictably dropped a 5-1 decision to Martinsville on Wednesday evening. Not only did the Artesians have superior numbers, they had more firepower as sophomore Charlie Rawlins scored four times in the first half.
One of the recent coaching cliches is “Next man up” when discussing injuries. The Stars now don’t have a next man.
“It’s every man we can out there,” BNL coach Ryan Otis said. “We played the last 25 minutes without a sub. I’m proud they kept fighting, didn’t hang their heads. We just have to get healthy, that’s the main thing. We need some guys back.”
The Artesians (8-5-1) did all their damage in the first half, and most of their offense came during a three-minute explosion. Rawlins started it with a rebound goal at 29:14, and Sean McDougal converted another rebound shot (after BNL goalie Parker Beeson stopped the initial bolt) at 26:51. And only 18 seconds later, Rawlins struck again for a 3-0 lead.
“We played with them for a little bit, and thought maybe we can do this, we had positive momentum,” Otis said. “Then we gave up the goals. It’s easy to hang your head, but we hung with them.”
Martinsville, which has only four seniors on the roster, extended its lead as Rawlins ripped home a long shot from the left wing to the right goal corner at 10:23, then rifled home his final goal off a Martin Barco pass at 9:05.
“Quick starts for us are super important,” Martinsville coach Willy Spina said. “We have to be ready to go from the beginning. We want to be an 80-minute team, but we played a little shaky in the second half. We just played so well in the first half.”
BNL (5-6-1) got on the board with 1:05 left in the first half when Grant Beyers belted home a 20-yarder from the left wing.
The Stars will host Bloomfield on Saturday.