GREEN — This Cole Werthmuller kid has a knack for the heroics.
Playing in his 11th career postseason game for the Medina boys soccer team, the forward notched his fourth game-winner on Saturday.
It came in a 4-0 Division I regional final victory over Stow that lifted the Bees to their third consecutive state semifinal.
“He’s good with his feet. He’s good with his head. He’s very courageous and strong,” Medina coach Simon Spelling said of Werthmuller. “He has a good turn of pace. He can shoot with his left or right foot inside or outside the box.”
Last season, the sophomore burst on the scene with a game-winner in the state semifinal in a win over St. Ignatius.
Fast forward to this season and Werthmuller has been on fire in the playoffs.
He scored the game-winner and both goals in an Akron Sectional final win over Firestone. After registering an assist against Copley in the district final, he scored the game-winner against University School in a Region 1 semifinal.
That puts his total this season at three game-winners, four goals and an assist in five postseason games.
“He’s finding the pockets and he’s working as hard as he can,” said Medina midfielder Parker Csiszar, who also scored a goal against Stow. “It makes it a lot easier because we have multiple people that can score. You don’t have to rely on just one person.”
This game-winner came early when Csiszar sent a perfect cross from the left to Werthmuller, who beat Chris Miller to the left corner 9:17 into the contest.
It opened things up for the Bees (16-1-4) as Josh Cabacungan scored on a pass from Weston Mansier six minutes later to put Medina comfortably ahead.
Cabacungan called his own number 1:55 before the break and upped the Bees' advantage to 3-0.
“That’s what they like to do to teams,” Bulldogs coach Kyle Kosmala said. “That’s what we’ve been doing to teams, but we couldn’t get out and do anything. They’re just a great team and they’ve got great finishers.”
Medina plays St. Ignatius (18-1-2) at 7 p.m. Wednesday at North Ridgeville. The Wildcats reached the state semifinal by throttling Sylvania Northview 6-0 in the Region 2 final.
Stow (16-3-4) exited after a season to build on.
Although the Bulldogs finished third in the Suburban League National Conference, they turned it on when it mattered most and reached the regional final level for the first time since 2006.
Stow will take a hit with leading scorer and four-year starter Corey Hunt (24 goals, 7 assists, 55 points) gone to graduation as well as four-year starters Nathan Kolke and Logan Spath. Letterwinners Phillip Dudones, Joe Gresser, Jared Hudak and Kyle Sommer will also graduate, but take a trophy room full of memories.
“We’ll definitely have a strong team next year,” Kosmala said. “It’s the deepest team we’ve had here. We have four or five guys that we can bring off the bench regularly. They’ll have to step up. We do lose some key players for sure."