Coach Of The Year

Girls Soccer

High School Sports

December 15, 2003

Gary Lam

Severna Park

It's one thing to successfully defend a state title with most of the players back. It's another to repeat with a mostly new group.

Assembling an entirely new defense and front line, Lam managed to do just that as the No. 2 Falcons once again captured the Class 3A crown.

The third-year coach determined who belonged where on the field and quickly developed a cohesive group that surpassed all expectations in a 17-1 season.

"When you win a title and want another, you don't start where you left off - you're back even with everyone else," said Lam, who is now 46-5-3 in three seasons. "We identified each players' role and they understood their responsibilities. The kids surprised us."

Preaching the importance of playing with heart and emotion, Lam's group showed both in a 3-2 region playoff win at Leonardtown, where it trailed, 2-0, going into the second half. In the state semifinals, timely adjustments and good preparation played big in the Falcons' penalty-kick shootout win over River Hill.

Lam made sure to note his assistants - John Brady and Mike Malone - have been integral in the team's success.

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