July 24, 2016

Partly cloudy

Medina’s Marisa Scullin, Grizzlies’ Leah Runkle headline teams

COLUMBUS — As the high school soccer season came to a close Friday and Saturday at Columbus Crew Stadium, the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association released its All-Ohio teams.

Medina County was well-represented, as Medina’s Marisa Scullin and Wadsworth’s Leah Runkle were first-team selections in Division I, while Wadsworth’s Luis Escudero, Medina’s Nate Libertowski and Brunswick’s Ross DiDonna were second-teamers in the big-school division.

Marisa Scullin

“It’s pretty cool to see two local players named to the first team,” Medina coach Doug Coreno said of the girls selections. “Add to that players like (Copley’s) Anna Haverchak and (Strongsville’s) Alexia Manoa, who play within a matter of miles from this county, also on first team, as well as a number of area players on the second team, and you can see why Northeast Ohio is so strong for girls soccer.”

Scullin not only led the Bees backline against one of the state’s most grueling schedules, she also helped Medina win the Brunswick District championship and advance to a regional final for the first time since 2009.

The senior center back was a key component of a defense that posted eight shutouts, including three in the postseason.

“Marisa had a tremendous year for us,” Coreno said. “She was not only vital to our success with her play on the field, but she also was a great captain and team leader. Without Marisa, there is no way we would have been able to accomplish everything we did this season.”

Down state Route 57 in Wadsworth, Runkle continued to post eye-popping numbers offensively. The junior forward netted 26 goals to cement herself as the program’s leader in career goals, breaking the previous mark of 56 held by Rachel Snyder (1998-2001).

Runkle also had nine assists for a county-best 61 points.

“She has become the type of player that makes teams change their game plan to account for her,” Wadsworth coach Paul Williford said. “Leah is well deserving (of this honor) and has become a well-rounded player. She continues to get better and learn the game, and I can see an even better senior year.”

Another Wadsworth striker who made headlines was Escudero. Despite being the focal point of every opposing defense, the senior still managed 13 goals and four assists to earn his second All-Ohio nod.
Escudero was one spot shy of the first team, as he was ranked 19th overall.

“Luis was our go-to player all year,” Wadsworth coach John Johnson said. “He was a marked man all season, but managed it well and created chances. He is certainly one of the most creative players I have ever coached.”

Libertowski helped the Bees win the Brunswick D-I District crown and advance to regional play for the first time since 2007 after posting 16 goals and dishing out nine assists. The senior midfielder was the team’s penalty-kick specialist, which came in handy in Medina’s district semifinal victory over Copley as he converted his PK try in overtime.

Despite battling some nagging injuries most of the season, DiDonna established himself as the one of the area’s top midfielders.

DiDonna had just five goals and six assists, but was key in organizing Brunswick’s attack from the center midfield as the team advanced to districts for the second consecutive season.

“To have three players from Medina County make All-Ohio speaks volume for the quality of soccer in our area,” Johnson said. “There are a few other players that were close to making All-Ohio, and that says a lot as well. Medina County was well represented — and deservedly so.”

Contact Dan Brown at sports@medina-gazette.com.