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'D' is key to Cal State Northridge, Joe Franco

Former St. Francis High soccer standout has helped Cal State Northridge's defense become one of best in nation.

October 13, 2012|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • Camille Coffey, a Flintridge Sacred Heart graduate, had a career day Saturday for the Fairfield University women's volleyball team, but the Stags couldn't pull out the win.
Camille Coffey, a Flintridge Sacred Heart graduate,… (Courtesy of Kelly…)

The following are updates on local athletes at the collegiate level.

Joe Franco (St. Francis High, 2008) redshirt senior, Cal State Northridge men's soccer: The Matadors only have Franco for the remainder of this season and it certainly appears they're going to miss him. He has three points on offense this season with a goal and an assist, but his impact is really felt on defense.

The former Golden Knight has played in and started all 13 games this season, proving key for a lockdown defense that has logged seven shutouts. Northridge's defense has been incredibly dominant of late, allowing two goals over the last 732 minutes of play with a 0.69 goals against average that ranks 18th in the nation.

The Matadors are 7-1 in their last eight games with six of those victories coming in shutouts, and the one loss to Sacramento State, 1-0, on Sept. 30 coming in double overtime. Northridge most recently posted a 1-0 win over Santa Barbara on Oct. 7, where the Matadors defense made a goal in the 31st minute stand up for the win, as the No. 4-ranked Gauchos managed just four shots on goal.

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"I thought we did very well all around," Northridge Coach Terry Davila said after the game. "We defended as a group and didn't allow plays behind us. We have a great back line and goalkeeper and our defenders are making it difficult on the opponents."

Franco provided some offense in Northridge's opener when scored in a 4-0 win over Portland University in the Wilson Titan Classic. It was his second career goal and first since 2009.

Northridge won its second match of the season over American, 2-1, but lost its next three. Since then, the Matadors have gone 7-1 and 3-1 in the Big West Conference. They continued conference play at home Saturday night against UC Riverside.

Camille Coffey (Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, 2011) sophomore, Fairfield University women's volleyball: It was a day of career and season highs for Coffey Saturday, but the outside hitter and the rest of the Stags were still dropped by Canisius College in five, 23-25, 22-25, 25-21, 25-15, 17-15, on the road in what was a battle for first place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

It ended Fairfield's five-match winning streak, despite Coffey posting her fourth double-double of the year with a career-high 23 digs, season-high 14 kills and three blocks to tie her season best. Still, the Stags (12-8, 7-3 in conference) saw the match slip way, even after they took the first two sets.

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