RUSSELL, Pa. – Olivia Savage’s goal 5:03 into the overtime period lifted Meadville to a 2-1 win at Eisenhower Thursday.
(Photo courtesy Scott Elmquist, see more of Scott’s work here. Eisenhower’s Leah Peterson races with Meadville’s Lilly Kinder for possession during the second half of their match at Eisenhower, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020.)
The goal was Savage’s second of the game and came after a scramble in front led to her getting the ball with an open net to shoot at. The Knights and Bulldogs battled to a 1-1 tie through regulation in a match that had a playoff-like intensity.
Meadville (8-1) controlled possession through the early going, but Eisenhower (5-4) was able to tilt the pitch in its favor for most of the final 20 minutes of the first half. Neither team was able to generate much in the way of quality scoring chances, though the Bulldogs nearly broke through with just over four minutes to go.
Adelaide Phillis got behind the defense and was in alone against Knights keeper Lilee Renninger. Phillis’ shot gave Renninger some trouble, but she was able to dive on it before any Bulldogs could get the rebound and kept it tied, 0-0, at the half.
Just over 8 minutes in to the second half, Savage broke the tie.
Phoebe Templin fired a long range shot that Renninger couldn’t quite control. Renninger tried to dive on the rebound again, but missed and the ball came to Savage who buried it for the 1-0 lead.
The goal seemed to inspire the Knights as they pressed in the minutes immediately following. The pressure paid off at 67:48 when Cassie Smelko fired a lead pass to Leah Peterson.
Peterson was able to beat the defender to the ball and took a sharp angle shot. The ball went in a high arch and Meadville keeper Riley Olsen couldn’t get her hand on it. It went over Olsen’s head and into the far side of the net.
Peterson had a chance to give Eisenhower the lead with just over two minutes to go, but misfired on a shot in front off a crossing pass.
Meadville nearly came away with the win in regulation. The Bulldogs got a free kick with just about 10 seconds left. Templin took the kick and new Eisenhower keeper Kayla Greene (who came in after Renninger was injured in a collision in front of the net) had trouble handling the shot. Ellie Strausser came in and cleared the rebound before any Meadville player could get their foot on it to send the match to overtime.
Savage got the first quality chance in overtime and made it count. She got the ball in deep and maintained possession through the Eisenhower defense. Savage made a move past Greene and put the ball in the net to secure the Meadville victory.
Eisenhower heads to Franklin Monday.