Chloe McDaniel, Joey Franco Named Big West Scholar Athletes

ANAHEIM, Calif. ---

Cal State Northridge soccer student-athletes Chloe McDaniel and Joe Franco were named 2013 Big West Conference Scholar Athletes at a banquet Thursday morning in Anaheim, Calif. McDaniel and Franco were recognized for their outstanding achievements both in the classroom and in athletic competition.

The Matadors joined with their Big West Conference members to celebrate the achievements of top student-athletes throughout the conference. CSUN had a large contingency at the event, headlined by Cal State Northridge President Dr. Dianne F. Harrison and Matador Athletics Director Dr. Brandon E. Martin.

"Today's Big West Scholar-Athlete Banquet truly epitomizes what we expect from our student-athletes at CSUN," Dr. Martin said. "Without reservation, I believe Chloe and Joe will be top leaders in their respective fields. We look forward to continuing our tradition of producing exceptional scholar athletes at the university."

Franco is a repeat winner of the prestigious award. A fifth-year senior from Monrovia, Calif., Franco is a finance major who has had a profound impact on the soccer field while excelling in his studies.

Franco was recently drafted by Chivas USA of Major League Soccer and was the 2012 Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Year. In 2012, Franco helped lead the Matadors to a Big West Conference Championship and was an NSCAA All-Far West Region Second Team.

For his work in the classroom, Franco was named to the 2012 Men's Scholar All-America Second Team by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

To be eligible for the Scholar All-America Team, a student-athlete must carry a 3.30 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. Honorees are also selected based on their on-field performance and other recognitions from the college soccer community.

Franco was the only player selected from the Big West Conference after achieving a 3.94 GPA as a Finance major.

McDaniel is also a soccer standout for the Matadors. On the field, McDaniel was the 2012 Big West Defensive Player of the Year and captained a Matador squad that won the Big West Chanpionship and participated in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.

She anchored a stifling CSUN defense that allowed only 15 goals in over 2,120 minutes. As a team, CSUN finished 16th in the nation in GAA (0.636), 27thin shutout percentage (0.5) and second in save percentage (.886).

A team captain, McDaniel also got forward from her center back position to score a career-high two goals and add an assist. She started all 21 matches for the Matadors and will look to continue to lead the Matadors in 2013.

"Chloe has been the ultimate team leader and a stalwart defensively for our squad," her head coach, Keith West, said. "She is a tenacious competitor who makes those around her better with her attitude and effort."

Off the field, McDaniel is a Kinesiology major who holds a strong GPA. She was named to the Academic All-Big West Fall Sports Team and is an active member of the Matadors' Student-Athlete Advisory Council.

This past February, McDaniel and CSUN helped raise a school-record amount in the Big West's Annual Coin Drive. In fact, the conference as a whole raised a new record amount and three other conference schools also brought in record hauls.

McDaniel will return to the Matadors for her final season on the field in 2013. She plans to pursue graduate school following her graduation from CSUN.

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