It was evident that the Meadville Bulldogs wanted to grab a big Region 5 win over Warren at home. However as the ‘Dogs had to defend often, frustrations mounted leading to three yellow cards early in the second half with Warren up 3-0.
“It was frustration top to bottom, no doubt about it,” said Meadville head coach Nate Bahurinsky. “We don’t deal with that well enough and we let it come out onto the field.”
On Thursday afternoon, Warren midfielder Caleb Lindell powered the Dragons with five goals as Warren upended Meadville 5-0 in a Region 5 match at Bender Field.
Meadville is now 4-5 overall and 2-3 in Region 5. Warren maintains the third place spot in Region 5 at 3-2 and is 6-3 overall this season.
“(Warren is) faster than our defense for sure and they move the ball very well,” said Bahurinsky.
It took just under 12 minutes for Lindell to find the twine. He made a nice turn to his right and found open space behind the back line of Meadville’s defense. A good, low shot made it 1-0 Dragons.
Warren had a few more chances immediately, but Meadville goalkeeper Mark Conrad was up to the challenge with two diving saves.
Eventually the Dragons earned a corner kick. And with 15:35 left in the first half, Lindell took the ball off the bounce and rifled it into the top right corner of the net.
Four minutes later, Lindell had his hat trick on a low shot into the right corner for the 3-0 lead.
“They killed us with speed today,” Bahurinsky added. “They’re a very skilled team, very speedy and unfortunately we’re not built for speed.”
The Bulldogs’ best opportunity came late in the first half with an individual run by Ali Laylani. He weaved through defender after defender setting up a cross that at the last second was foiled by the Warren defense.
In the second half, the Bulldogs made a switch at goal with Ace Reese subbing in. Conrad ended up with eight saves in the first half alone.
“I’m very lucky that I have both Ace and Mark. I didn’t pull Mark because I thought he did a bad job, I just thought we needed a little lift,” said Bahurinsky. “Ace played great, Mark played great. They were under pressure all day.”
Yellow cards piled up early in the second half with Austin Granda, Benjamin Miles and Logan Gregor getting booked in
succession in a two-minute span.
Just a minute after, Lindell buried another shot. He had a chance for his fifth on a wide open shot, but Reese stonewalled it.
Later, Lindell buried his fifth and his 27th of the year from the outside part of his right foot.
For Meadville, Reese picked up nine saves in the second half. Warren’s goalkeeper Ian Darling earned the shutout with just three saves. The Dragons finished with a 32-6 shot advantage.
“All in all, no, we didn’t play great, but we can work with this,” said Bahurinsky. “I’m not totally frustrated, a little frustrated, but not totally. This is something we can work on and hopefully make some adjustments when we see (Warren) in two, three weeks.”
Jordan Hansgen can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.