Knights battle Region 3 leader Seneca to a 4-4 tie

Photo courtesy Scott Elmquist Eisenhower defenders Rachel Fredrick (3) and Hope Hefright (21) try to slow a Seneca attacker while keeper Katie Elmquist (12) prepares for a shot during their match at Seneca High School, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018. The Knights and Bobcats battled to a 4-4 tie.

ERIE, Pa. – Eisenhower’s amazing turnaround 2017 season came to an end with a 6-1 loss at the hands of Seneca in the playoffs.

The Bobcats held nearly the same advantage when the teams met at Eisenhower earlier this season, grabbing a 6-2 win over the Lady Knights. A first half hat trick from Addy D’Antonio put Seneca on the road to another lopsided win Wednesday at Seneca.

But a direct kick from Caroline Smelko found the back of the net with three minutes to go in the half and gave Eisenhower a shot of confidence heading into the second. The Lady Knights outscored the Bobcats 3-1 in the second half, and neither team was able to get a goal through two periods of overtime and played to a 4-4 tie.

D’Antonio’s first goal came on a breakaway at seven minutes. She put a shot in the lower left corner eight minutes later to put Seneca up 2-0. With 16 minutes to go in the half, she netted the hat trick.

In addition to being down 3-0, the Lady Knights lost starting keeper Faith Johnson to an arm injury.

Smelko got the direct kick with three minutes to go, hit a high shot that went just over the keeper’s hands and under the crossbar to make it 3-1 at the half.

The Lady Knights wasted little time cutting the deficit in half as Aniela Gesing threw in to Leah Peterson who fired a shot past the keeper to make it 3-2 less than a minute into the second half.

Seneca made it a two-goal game again 14 minutes later. Madison Hoover was able to put a shot just past new keeper Katie Elmquist to make it 4-2.

With 15 minutes to go in the match, Peterson notched her second of the game off an assist from Aleea Giese. The pair teamed up for the game-tying goal with seven minutes to go with Peterson matching D’Antonio’s hat trick.

Both teams were kept out of the net through both overtime periods to end in the 4-4 tie.

“Katie Elmquist strapped on her gloves and played a terrific game in net, helping to send the game into overtime,” Eisenhower assistant coach Alex Johnson said. “The defense continued their strong play and was led by Patricia Bortz and Rachel Fredrick’s stellar performances.”

Eisenhower plays another Region 3 road game today when the Lady Knights travel to Maplewood.

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JV: Seneca 4, Eisenhower 0

Seneca won the junior varsity contest 4-0.

“The score doesn’t reflect the way they are playing,” Johnson said. “It is great to see the vast improvement and determination to play at a varsity level.”