Bulldogs clobber Eagles at home

Aug. 31—The Meadville boys soccer team knocked off its neighbors to the west, the Conneaut Eagles, 12-1 in a commanding non-region win Wednesday night at Bender Field.

From the first whistle to the final horn, the pitch was tilted in favor of Meadville. In short, it was a tale of two programs in very different spots.

Conneaut entered the game with 13 total players, seven being underclassmen. Meadville has more than 20 players, with most of them having played together for several years, going back youth soccer days at the YMCA.

"Given the circumstances with our inexperience, I am happy with our performance," said Conneaut assistant coach Cameron Costner. "We're building and improving every week."

"That team is down to 13 players," said Meadville head coach Jim Miller. "So I just give them the credit for coming out and playing and also for scoring that goal on us... I've been at that point in my coaching career before."

Meadville scored six goals in the first half. The Bulldogs had an immediate impact on offense with a couple of strong shots on goal. Peyton Gorney hit the crossbar on an attempt. It wouldn't be long for the balls to start finding the back of the net.

Kael Armstrong and Graham Shellhass connected on their first of several goals to open the scoring. Shellhass scored first. Gorney then added a goal.

Midfielder Riley Shaw jumped up to score the game's third goal. Then, Shellhass and Armstrong connected again for a goal, this one coming from the cleat of Armstrong.

Aiden Tautin scored a goal, and then set up Armstrong for his second goal of the first half. Meadville led 6-0 after 40 minutes of play.

"The fist six minutes of the game was some of the best possession we had. We were just zipping the ball around," Miller said. "Then we settled in and starting scoring goals. But it is tough to gage anything off this."

The bleeding continued for the Eagles in the second half. Armstrong to Shelhaas marked goal No. 7 just 50 seconds into the second half.

Armstrong completed his hat-trick with another goal not long after.

With most of Meadville's bench now in the game, Conneaut finally managed to score their one and only goal of the match.

Nicholas Garcia chipped a ball past Meadville goalkeeper Simon Jackson-Farrelly for the Eagles' only tally.

"That goal was extremely important," said Costner. "For the guys who have put in work and busted their butts every week it's huge and it speaks volumes for the team's morale."

Logan Shaw, Casey Fuller and Jack Moral added goals for Meadville late in the game with Fuller's goal coming off a penalty kick.

"I'm happy with some of the ways we scored," said Miller. "That first goal from Caleb to Graham was wonderful. I was glad to see Casey get rewarded on that PK. He has been working since last season non-stop."

Meadville improved to 2-0 and will move on to play North East on Saturday on the road at 11 a.m.

Conneaut advances to play Crawford Christian on Sept. 5.

Owen Krepps can be reached at 814-724-6370 or at