June 24, 2016

Mostly sunny

Boys sccer: Dynamic duo McNeil, Marinaro on D-I first team

COLUMBUS — Brunswick’s Jesse Marinaro and Medina’s Dean McNeil were two of the top boys soccer players in Medina County this fall.

Now they are considered two of the best in the state.

Jesse Marinaro

Dean McNeil

Marinaro and McNeil earned first-team All-Ohio accolades in Division I. They were two of seven area players named to the annual list released Sunday by the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association.

“Medina County has always had great players,” Bees coach Mark Malikowski said. “Each of the programs that compete in the county consistently put a good product on the field.

“To have two players from the county end up in the top three spots in all of Greater Akron says a great deal about the year that both Dean and Jesse had.”

Marinaro earned the second-most votes in the Greater Akron area, followed by McNeil, as both earned a spot on the state’s top team. Just eight points separated the two in final district voting as they finished behind Copley’s Chris Brennan.

“With the All-Ohio teams coming out, I think it shows how much quality there is in the area,” Blue Devils coach Ben Dotson said. “I think both programs and both players are highly respected in the area and in the state. To have two of the top 18 players in the state, in communities right next to each other, says a lot about the level of the players we continue to produce between Medina and Brunswick.”

Marinaro overcame double- and triple-teams this season to net 18 goals and dish out a school-record 15 assists. The midfielder’s 51-point season was second highest in school history, and he also has program marks for assists in a single game and career.

“He knew that he had to produce at a high level to allow our team to be successful,” Dotson said. “Despite the attention, he took that pressure and produced and led our team regardless of what the situation was. There were times this season he just could not be stopped.”

Records also were shattered by McNeil, as the goalkeeper helped the Bees to their second straight district championship and first regional final appearance since 2007. The senior posted an eye-popping 0.33 goals against average in breaking the Medina record for shutouts in a season (15) and career (21).

“There just isn’t a weakness in his game — from shot stopping to distributing the ball, to dominating his box when the ball is in the air,” Malikowski said. “I think what set him apart this season though was his leadership and desire to play his best at all times.”

On the girls side, three individuals were named to the D-I second team, while two earned similar honors in D-II.

Wadsworth forward Leah Runkle, Medina midfielder Bri Shingary and Highland midfielder Anna Rose Wiencek were named to the D-I second squad.

Runkle capped her standout career with an 18-goal, five-asssit season. The senior demolished the school mark for goals in a career with 84 scores.

Highland matched the best finish in Suburban League play (second) and Wiencek had a lot to do with that with nine goals and three assists.

Medina advanced to regionals for the second consecutive season, with Shingary netted key goals en route to seven goals and five assists.

The junior’s lead-by-example approach set her apart.

“The best attribute Bri has is her work rate and intensity,” Bees coach Doug Coreno said. “She is unmatched in those areas. Coaches around the state have recognized this and that is why she is very deserving of All-Ohio honors this year.”

In D-II, Buckeye’s Norah Barnes shined as the Bucks won the Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division title. The junior center midfielder shined in coach Bud Robert’s unique 4-2-3-1 formation as she record 36 points (12 goals and 12 assists).

“Her excellent ball skills, great awareness of surroundings and the ability to find space in congested areas made her the perfect choice for this position,” Roberts said. “She was double or triple teamed in almost all our games which allowed teammates to be open for scoring opportunities.”

Wadsworth resident Katie Easton also was named to All-Ohio as the Hoban senior midfielder scored 10 goals and guided the Knights to the Brunswick D-II District crown.

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