Girls Soccer Coach of the Year: John Sis, South River

Girls Soccer Coach of the Year: John Sis, South River (Kim Hairston, Baltimore Sun / December 7, 2012)

John Sis

South River

The No. 4 Seahawks (18-2) faced a number of obstacles -- injuries, tough competition in Anne Arundel County and two second-half deficits in the postseason -- but they were able to successfully fend off each to claim county, Class 4A East regional and state titles.

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South River's strong team play was on full display when the Seahawks came from behind to knock off four-time defending Class 4A state champion Bethesda-Chevy Chase in penalty kicks to claim the program's third title and first since 1997.

After an injury to a defender early in the season forced Sis to move one player out of position and rotate two others, the Seahawks recorded nine shutouts.

South River avenged a 1-0 double-overtime loss to Arundel with a 3-0 victory to win the Anne Arundel County championship, and then defeated the Wildcats again in the Class 4A East regional final, coming back from a 2-0 deficit for an overtime victory to advance into the state semifinals.

"I think the key to our success was playing as a team," said Sis, who is 86-17-13 in seven years at South River. "Our offense [led by All-Metro Player of the Year Kacie Longo] played with confidence knowing we had a great back line and holding midfielder [Kat Wray] to defend and our defense played with confidence knowing that if they did give up a goal our offense was there to get us back into the game."