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BOYS SOCCER: Owls make their point for title

BNL's Logan Andrews and Seymour's Mason Pottschmidt battle for possession. The Owls posted a 3-0 victory to clinch the outright HHC title on Thursday night.

BNL’s Logan Andrews and Seymour’s Mason Pottschmidt battle for possession. The Owls posted a 3-0 victory to clinch the outright HHC title on Thursday night.

Seymour clinches outright

HHC championship with

3-0 triumph over Stars

By Justin Sokeland

TheHHCSports.com

Purple reigns in the Hoosier Hills Conference.

Seymour clinched its first outright league championship on Thursday night, shutting down Bedford North Lawrence 3-0 while allowing only three shots on goal. The Owls (11-3) finished 6-1 in the conference, with their only loss coming against Floyd Central.

The Highlanders actually went undefeated in league play, going 5-0-2. But with a point system in place to determine the standings, granting 3 for a win and 1 for a tie, Seymour edged Floyd by a single point (18-17).

The Owls did it the hard way, winning five games on the road to finish off their sixth overall title.

“It’s huge,” Seymour coach Matt Dennis said. “To go from a two-win conference team last year to six this year is unbelievable.”

BNL goalie Nate Bartlett skies to reject a shot.

BNL goalie Nate Bartlett skies to reject a shot.

The Stars (8-6-1, 2-5) could not generate any offense. Few teams have been able to do that against the Owls, who have allowed only 10 goals all season. BNL coach Logan Jackson was tweaking some formations and lineups as the regular season ended, and now the Stars have a week to continue that process before their sectional debut.

“As far as offensively we still need to do some more tweaking on that,” Jackson said. “We had our opportunities early, then they got that goal and the momentum shifted. It was them all the way.”

The first goal was enough as Daniel Hartman converted a pinpoint crossing pass from Renato Castillo with a header past BNL goalie Nate Bartlett at 29:37. The Owls added two goals in the second half as Brayan Morales (at 38:28 with a tough shot from the right wing) and Tyler Penegar (21:53) extended the lead.

“They fought hard,” Dennis said. “There’s no tactics we need to talk about. That was heart and effort on a muddy field. They just wanted it, and they deserved every bit of it.”

BNL's Cam Anderson looks for room to work as Seymour's Daniel Hartman tracks his progress.

BNL’s Cam Anderson looks for room to work as Seymour’s Daniel Hartman tracks his progress.

The Stars struggled to crack Seymour’s defensive front, and the offense got slogged down in the middle of the muck. Any speed advantage was nullified by the sludge, and by the slippery footing.

“We have to learn to keep composed, not lose our heads,” Jackson said. “They did a good job in the second half of filling the midfield. We didn’t utilize our wings like we should have, and that just led to us funneling in there.”

“We knew about (Zach) Bradshaw and all the goals he scored, so he was a priority,” Dennis said. “We did everything we could to not allow him to touch the ball.”

BNL will return to action in the Class 2-A sectional at Bloomington South on Oct. 5. The Stars drew a first-round bye and will await the Bloomington North-Edgewood winner in the second semifinal.