---- — By Jon Gerardi
The Daily Item
The Pennsylvania State Soccer Coaches Association named Selinsgrove's Matt Metzger the Coach of the Year in the Class AA field for girls soccer on Friday afternoon.
Metzger will receive the 2012 W. Gene Davis Memorial Award at the PSCA dinner today in Harrisburg.
This is the third time that Metzger has won the award, having won it in 1999 and again last season, making it his second straight Coach of the Year honor.
"It is very unique and it's one of those things you don't really expect," Metzger said of winning it back-to-back. "So to get that and be selected from other coaches that were obviously nominated in various leagues across the state, and this year was our first unified season. It makes it a little more special because everyone was playing in the fall on the girls side."
Metzger led the Seals to a 18-4 overall record last season in his 19th year. Selinsgrove claimed the District 4 Class AA championship against Danville on penalty kicks, 5-4. Selinsgrove's journey ended in the first round of the PIAA state tournament, however, to Northern York, 2-1, after surrendering the game-winning goal with 2:29 to play.
It was Selinsgrove's first District 4 title in girls soccer since 2009. Metzger and Selinsgrove lost the District 4 Class AA championship the year prior to Montoursville, a team Metzger helped avenge their loss to in the first round of the District 4 championship.
"I think a lot of it (our success in 2012) went back to our defense. I think we played very soundly on the defensive end," Metzger said. "All of our defenders did a great job and that jump started our offense. They were able to get the balls out and we were obviously very fast on the counter attack. We scored quite a few goals in that manner. It wasn't just a buildup of plays, just quick counter attacks."
Metzger oversaw a team that featured six Heartland Conference Division-I all-stars, four of which were first team selections in goalie Jess Lawton, defensive back Marissa Headings, middfielder Alli Cover and forward Jenna Fisher. Metzger was also named the HAC-I Coach of the Year this past season.
"This is my third time receiving it, so receiving this award is a great honor. It's with the program, it's what we kind of stand for (and) the assistants we have. They're a big part of this and the fact they came through the program is something that's kind of unique that they played under me and now they're part of the program and build that success and continue to build it," Metzger said.
"It's a great individual honor and great team honor and great for Selinsgrove High School."
Despite an extremely talented District 4 Class AA field in the playoffs with Danville, two-time Class A state champion Warrior Run (who moved to AA last season), Montoursville and Lewisburg, Metzger went into the season optimistic that his team would have a chance to walk away as District 4 champions.
"It's one of those things that we go into every season hoping we're there. Soccer's obviously a strange sport because you can have a great and dominant team and have one game where it falls apart and someone knocks you out," Metzger said.
"We look at it every year that we can be there, it's just who puts us in position. Some pick that other teams would do better than us. Did we think we could be there? Yes. We think that every year that that's a possibility."