GREEN — Green Memorial Stadium might need to replace its FieldTurf because of the way the Medina boys soccer team fried Stow.
Playing at a blistering pace from the opening whistle Saturday, the Bees bounced the Bulldogs 4-0 in the
Division I, Region 1 championship to reach the state semifinals for the third season in a row.
The score could have been worse.
The next step is familiar, as Medina (16-1-4) will play St. Ignatius (18-1-2) for the third straight season in the round of four. The game will be Wednesday at North Ridgeville.
“It’s really important to get off to a fast start because it puts them on their heels,” Medina midfielder Parker Csiszar said. “It gives us all the momentum. I know everybody gains confidence. You see other guys come into play, and it makes everyone really excited.”
It was hard for the Bees not to be ecstatic after the way they blitzed the Bulldogs (16-3-2).
Cole Werthmuller scored 10 minutes in off an assist from Csiszar and was followed by Josh Cabacungan 10
Cabacungan called his own number 1:55 before the break and Medina went into intermission up three.
“That start was a big help,” Cabacungan said. “The first goal is always the most important thing. Then, I came on, got the second and then the third and it puts them away.”
While Csiszar scored five minutes into the second half, the tally right before halftime really allowed the Bees to basically pass around the field after the break.
“It’s big, isn’t it?” Medina coach Simon Spelling said. “I thought we were going to score that third right after we scored the second goal when Mike Kelly was going through. I was a little worried, but (Cabacungan) stepped up with his left foot. He’s got a very quick release on his shot, and people underestimate him.”
There have been many heroes during the tournament, but dominating midfield play stood out in this one.
With Gavin Csiszar, Parker Csiszar, Nnamdi Seukwa and Steve Samuelson patrolling, Stow rarely got into the offensive third. That was a big reason why Medina outshot the
“It was a clinic,” Spelling said. “The passing, movement, first touch, communication, confidence, it was all there. The struggle is now there to get that back on Wednesday night.”
The victory pushed the senior class of Tommy Guta, Ian Gummo, Brendan Delac, Grayson Madden and Oliver O’Cull to new heights. The quintet has four district titles, three regional championships and two Greater Cleveland Conference crowns, as well as a chance to play in back-to-back state finals.
Since the five laced up their boots for the Bees, Medina is 67-7-11.
St. Ignatius is making its fifth straight trip to the semifinals and 14th overall. The Wildcats also are just one season removed from winning D-I back-to-back-to-back and have eight titles all time.
St. Ignatius went through Medina in 2016, when they beat the Bees 3-2 in overtime on a controversial penalty kick still talked about in soccer circles.
Medina got revenge last season, when won 2-0.
The winner will head to MAPFRE Stadium on Saturday to face Cincinnati Moeller (16-1-3) or Olentangy Liberty (16-2) at a time to be determined.
“It’s really important to get off to another fast start,” Parker Csiszar said. “It sets the tone for how the game is going to play out. It’s one of those things where we have to go out and play how we’ve been playing.”
Medina 4, Stow 0
Division I, Region 1 Championship
STOW 0 0 — 0
MEDINA 3 1 — 4
M — Cole Werthmuller (Parker Csiszar), 30:43.
M — Josh Cabacungan (Weston Mansier), 26:21.
M — Cabacungan, 1:55.
M — Csiszar (Grayson Madden), 34:59.
Shots on goal — Stow 3, Medina 12. Corner kicks — Stow 2, Medina 5. Saves — Chris Miller (S) 7, Jake Vogrin (M) 2. Records — Stow (16-3-2), Medina (16-1-4).