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High School Soccer

Gazette MVP: Medina midfielder's knack for gamewinners has people hailing Csiszar

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    Medina's Parker Csiszar is the 2018 Gazette MVP in boys soccer.

    RON SCHWANE / GAZETTE

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The replay sits on the internet for all to see, but it’s a vision virtually everyone in attendance at MAPFRE Stadium can play back with total recall.

Josh Cabacungan takes the ball up the left side and, from 40 yards out, crosses it to Parker Csiszar at the top of the box.

With two defenders on him and a third 3 yards away, the 2018 Gazette MVP for boys soccer slices through the first two and fires a shot to the left corner before the third can get to him.

The shot beats the keeper and the Medina boys soccer team knocks off Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller 1-0 in overtime to win the Division I state title.

Within four seconds, the entire Bees bench is around Csiszar in celebration.

“It took awhile to sink in,” Medina coach Simon Spelling said. “We did actually score. We did actually hit the back of the net. I’ve seen it a couple of times on YouTube now, but I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of watching it.”

He’s not the only one.

As of Sunday night, the 16-second clip had more than 2,900 views and was still on an upward trend.

That shows just how important soccer is to Medina, which held a pep assembly for the champion Bees and threw them a parade as part of the Candlelight Walk. They also were recognized by the board of education during its monthly meeting.

“It was amazing,” Csiszar said. “All my teammates were happy. We’ll be able to talk about this when our reunion comes around in 20 years. I was happy that we won the state title for the first time in Medina County history.”

While the game-winner will long be remembered in Medina soccer lore, it was one of many the junior tallied during the Bees’ magical season.

Csiszar played in 20ᄑ games. He missed the second half of a postseason game against Archbishop Hoban and all of the Akron District final with Copley, as well as sitting the Euclid game.

In the other contests, the midfielder scored or assisted the game-winner seven times.

He also registered at least a point in 16 games.

“He’s one of those kids that comes by once or twice in your coaching career,” Wadsworth coach John Johnson said. “If you shut him down, Medina has another player that can put the ball in the back of the net, but you have to focus on him. He’s that dangerous. He deserves that type of respect from the opposing team.”

Therein is the most amazing part of his game. Csiszar is the focal point of every team’s defensive strategy. Opponents knew when No. 10 had the ball, it was best to get it off his foot and to someone else.

Yet time and again, the Greater Cleveland Conference and Greater Akron District Player of the Year was the one sending foes home unhappy.

Opposing coaches marveled at his prowess but will be more than happy when the first-team All-Ohioan is done playing high school soccer next November.

“Parker is that confident in his abilities,” Brunswick coach Ben Dotson said. “No matter what they take away, no matter what the situation, no matter how hard they foul him, he’s smart enough and savvy enough to find a way around it. That’s what makes him so special.”

Csiszar’s 16 goals and nine assists (41 points) ranked third in the county, but his willingness to share the spotlight made him the toughest piece of Medina’s offense to figure out. Moeller allowed him to take only two shots on goal, but he still got it done.

“That confidence comes from hours of practice,” Spelling said. “He knows how good he is, and he knows that when given an opportunity, he’s going to take advantage of it. There’s an inner steel that he has because of all the sacrifice he has put in over the course of his youth. He knows what he can do with his right foot. He knows what he can do with his left foot. It’s just a question of when it happens.”

Those practices started a decade ago for the 17-year-old and continue with year-round sessions to hone his skills. Whether it’s with the high school or his club team, there’s a soccer ball somewhere near his foot.

“You’re always looking for someone in the attack third who has the ability and the confidence to put their team on their back and settle the game for us,” Spelling said. “We were very fortunate to have other players in the past who have done that in Justin Libertowski and Andy Prostor. Now Parker Csiszar is of that same ilk. Give him the ball around the penalty area and we put money on him to score.”

Contact Brad Bournival at bournival929@gmail.com.


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