COLUMBUS — The Medina boys soccer team ran downhill for almost 95 minutes Saturday against Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller in the Division I state championship.
With 90 seconds remaining in the first overtime, MAPFRE Stadium finally rewarded the Bees with their first state title when Parker Csiszar put in the game-winner in a 1-0 thriller.
For Csiszar, the goal was his 16th of the season. For Medina (18-1-4), the goal will be talked about in the community for decades.
“I didn’t even know what happened,” Csiszar said. “I was speechless. Things slowed down a ton. It’s still slow motion.
“It feels amazing. I know that my teammates are so proud of me. I’m proud my teammates are happy for me. It’ll probably sink in (Sunday).”
Before the Crusaders (19-2-3) even knew what hit them, the entire Bees bench was on the pitch mobbing their All-Ohio junior midfielder.
“He’s very quiet, but he’s like a stealth bomber, isn’t he?” Bees coach Simon Spelling said. “He just shows up and then the game is over, right?”
If the ball gets to the Akron District Player of the Year, good things will happen.
Racing down the left side of the field, Josh Cabacungan saw Csiszar at the top of the box. Csiszar received the pass, turned on frame and blistered a right-footed shot past Cal Collins for the winner.
The attempt was a screamer to the left corner that Collins had absolutely no chance of retrieving.
“He’s really good,” Moeller coach Mike Welker said. “It’s the one guy that we said couldn’t beat us, and he beat us. That’s a good team. They attacked us all game long. They took us out of our rhythm, and (Csiszar) did his job.
“Hats off to him, and hats off to Coach (Simon) Spelling. They beat us. We haven’t given up a goal in 700 minutes, so for him to break that streak, it’s pretty impressive. They’re a good team.”
While the shot happened in a split second for those in attendance, it felt like an eternity for Csiszar, who has had his share of game-winners this season.
Csiszar collected the ball 18 yards out, split two defenders and shot before anyone else could react.
“It’s so great having him,” Cabacungan said. “You know you can just give him the ball, and he’s going to put it in the back of the net. That’s exactly what he did tonight. It’s such a good feeling. He’s great to have as a teammate and a friend.”
The win was also sweet vindication for a Medina team that fell 1-0 in double overtime to Beavercreek last season.
Undaunted and determined, the Bees rolled through the regular season with one goal in mind. Medina crushed postseason opponents, shutting out six of the seven it played.
The clean sheet Sunday was the 15th of the season for the Bees, who only allowed 11 goals.
“We played and held on,” Spelling said. “I don’t think we played our best, but as the overtime went on, I think there was one team that was going to win it. We started off playing really well, and I think we deserved to win it in the end.”
The title really was a team effort, as Jake Vogrin stopped the one shot he faced and Ben Davis, Grayson Madden, Steve Samuelson, Tommy Guta and Weston Mansier were a collective stone wall.
Add the fact that Parker Csiszar (4), Gavin Csiszar (2), Madden, Cole Werthmuller and Cabacungan all had shots on frame and the win was one the Bees will never forget.
“Words can’t describe this,” Guta said.
Medina 1, Archbishop Moeller 0 (OT)
Division I State Championship
MEDINA 0 0 1 — 1
MOELLER 0 0 0 — 0
Me — Parker Csiszar (Josh Cabacungan), 1:30.
Shots on goal — Medina 6, Moeller 1. Corner kicks — Medina 6, Moeller 4. Saves — Jake Vogrin (Me) 1, Cal Collins (Mo) 5. Records — Medina (18-1-4), Moeller (19-2-3).