Tuesday, March 26, 2019 Medina 23°

High School Soccer

Man in the middle: Sophomore Gavin Csiszar directs Medina boys on pitch

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    Medina's Gavin Csiszar takes a shot against Stow.


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    Gavin Csiszar dribbles the ball.



Gavin Csiszar won’t wow opponents and fans with bravado as a member of the Medina boys soccer team.

His humble demeanor almost goes unnoticed after a win and his one goal and three assists don’t look like a lot.

But take the sophomore off the field and there’s no way the Bees (16-1-4) are making their third straight Division I state semifinal appearance against St. Ignatius (18-1-2) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at North Ridgeville.

“He’s a very important piece,” Medina midfielder Mike Kelly said. “He works hard for us in the middle. He’s great at defending. He attacks really hard. He knows when to make the right passes and he leads the team in the middle.

“He could score a lot more goals, but he loves to pass the ball. He knows when to give the ball up in front of the goal to let someone else get the goal.”

Csiszar has a cannon for a shot, but the center midfielder would rather quarterback the team down the field. It’s worked so far, as Medina enters with 67 goals, which equates to 3.2 per game.

“As a center mid, you have to have some say and be able to tell people where to go,” Csiszar said. “It’s nice that I have teammates that will listen. I think for the most part, people respect me. Everybody on the team is humble. If Cole (Werthmuller) scores and Josh (Cabacungan) scores two, yeah, they scored, but they know it’s just a game. They’re not out to brag.

“I’m fine with it taking a backseat. That’s kind of what happened last year, too. I’m good with that because as long as we keep winning and making it places, that’s all I really want. It feels great when you send that through ball and it develops into a goal. In a way, I created that.”

If this were hockey, where assists are handed out in pairs, Csiszar would be leading Medina County in helpers.

Many times, his through balls or passes over the top to the corner lead to a cross, which leads to a goal. He’s not afraid to pepper one on net just to keep a keeper honest, but is always looking at the greater good.

“He’s the No. 1 part of our attack,” Medina coach Simon Spelling said. “He allows us to maintain possession and get people forward. He doesn’t try and get a penetrating pass. A lot of the passes are for possession, especially in the midfield third.

“He’s like Luka Modrić of Real Madrid. He doesn’t get a lot of goals or assists, but take Luka Modrić out of Real Madrid and it’s not the same team.”

Aside from setting up the offense, Csiszar also has to make sure he distributes evenly. While there aren’t any egos on the squad, he has a plethora of weapons at his disposal in Parker Csiszar (15 goals, 9 assists, 39 points), Cabacungan (11, 4, 26), Werthmuller (10, 1, 21), Kelly (7, 4, 18) and Tommy Guta (4, 4, 12).

Keeping everyone on the same page and happy has come easy to the standout.

“It reflects his personality off the field,” Spelling said. “He’s a very humble kid. He wants the team to win. At practice, he’s always ready and consistent. The team knows he’s a team-oriented player. They recognize the person he’s making the pass to is the best option. There’s a lot of mutual respect and trust in the player.”

That respect has led to 16 wins for the second straight season as the Bees try to get back to the state final in back-to-back years.

It’s also a respect reciprocated throughout the team.

“He really changes the outcome of each game,” older brother Parker Csiszar said. “We really rely on him a lot to make the simple passes. He can send through balls to just about anybody on the field. He just plays simple and can take guys on when we need him to. It shows that he trusts us with the ball. No matter what, he’ll do the right thing for the team.”

Contact Brad Bournival at bournival929@gmail.com.

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