Franco’s hat trick leads St. Francis

first_imgLA CA?ADA – St. Francis High School’s boys soccer team has tried hard not to dwell on the past. Still, the Golden Knights remember the feeling of walking off a rainy field at Hart High after a CIF-Southern Section Division II playoff loss to the Indians a year ago. “We said if things were ideal, we could score two goals in the first 10 minutes, and today it worked out,” St. Francis Glen Appels said. Joe Franco, Nick Swart and Daniel Frank made sure it worked out for St. Francis (25-4), which finished second in the Mission League behind Loyola. Franco scored three goals, and Swart and Frank had two apiece. “It was a team effort, and I was in the right place at the right time,” Franco said of his hat trick. Franco’s first goal came in the third minute, when he headed a nice pass from Nick Posthuma past Oilers goalkeeper Anthony Anguiano. A Montebello foul gave St. Francis a free kick. Haig Farajian was set to take the shot, but faked it. Swart stepped in and rifled a shot past Anguiano to give St. Francis a 2-0 lead in the 11th minute. “The fake wasn’t the key; it was how hard Nick shot it,” Appels said. “He just fired it. It was a nice individual effort. “It’s nice to see guys translate practice into a game-day situation.” Franco took a pass from Jon Ondrejko and scored again in the 15th minute. Goals by Swart and Frank gave St. Francis a commanding 5-0 halftime lead. Franco completed his hat trick and finished the scoring a minute later. The Golden Knights struck again in the 69th minute. G.P. Gonzalez was robbed from point-blank range by Anguiano, but Frank was there to knock home the rebound. “We fell behind early, and they’re a good team,” Montebello coach Jesus Garcia said. “They had a lot of opportunities to score. They put them in the net and we didn’t have too many chances.” St. Francis outshot Montebello (15-7-3), 12-2. The Golden Knights will play Servite on Wednesday. “We have a stronger squad this year and hopefully we’ll use this momentum going into our next game,” Franco said. Appels feels his team has learned from last year’s bitter disappointment. “Last year, we started six sophomores and a freshman,” he said. “Six juniors and a sophomore looks better.” [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 4456 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img A year wiser, the Golden Knights knew the importance of a quick start against talented Montebello on Saturday. Two goals in the opening 11 minutes eased any tension the St. Francis players might have been feeling and they went on to score a 7-0 victory over the Oilers in the first round of the Division I playoffs. last_img read more