Bulldogs lose in heartbreaker vs. Cathedral Prep

FAIRVIEW — The Meadville boys lacrosse team lost to Cathedral Prep 10-9 in Wednesday night’s District 10 Class 2A championship game at Fairview High School.

Meadville had a four goal lead after the second quarter ended, but the Ramblers roared back to win it in the second half.

The Bulldogs fell behind early in the first quarter but tied it soon after. They started to play with more energy and pretty soon built a good lead on Prep. Meadville took every opportunity they had to score on offense and found the back of the net on multiple rushes. The Ramblers defense got tired quickly and Meadville capitilized by playing hard on ground balls. But momentum changed once the third quarter began.

“We gave it our all in the first half,” said Meadville head coach Charlie Anderson. “We fell off a little bit in the second half. It was a back-and-forth game. Even though we didn’t win, they know who we are now. I’d say we are the toughest team they’ve seen in a while.”

Meadville didn’t make it easy for Cathedral Prep, as the ‘Dogs kept scoring a few goals here and there even as the Ramblers began to close the lead. The game was first tied at 8 when Gino Giliberto found the back of the net to give the Bulldogs a 9-8 lead.

Just as things were looking up for Meadville, Prep found a goal to tie the game at nine, and scored the dagger just a few minutes later.

Meadville wasn’t as strong on ground balls in the second half as they were in the first. After a few key injuries to some players in the lineup, the Bulldogs weren’t able to recover on defense. The Ramblers took advantage, and Meadville fell just short of a second win over Cathedral Prep and a District 10 title.

Even though the Bulldogs didn’t close it out, the team showed resilience and growth throughout the year.

“They never quit,” said Anderson. “They push hard and they stopped making the small mistakes. They just have to do everything they can to come back and win that trophy.”

Robert Mahoney and Giliberto led the Meadville offense. Mahoney scored a hat trick as well as added three assists. Giliberto found the back of the net twice and added two ground balls. Cody Schwab tallied two goals and one assist and Logan Shaw also added two goals.

Preston Phillis led the team in ground balls with seven. Zachary Travis made 11 saves in net for the Bulldogs making six of those in the last quarter. Phillis led the team in won face offs with 12.

“I’m hopeful,” said Anderson. “This is my last year as head coach, I’ll be stepping down and the new coach has a good respectable group of kids on his hands. They’ll try to go forward and maybe even go further.”

Meadville finished the regular season 8-3, earning themselves the first seed in the Class 2A bracket. The Bulldogs advanced to the finals after defeating Fairview 16-4.

Cathedral Prep now moves on to the state tournament, where it will face the second seed of District 7 on Tuesday.