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United Sports Collegiate Scholar-Athlete: Marist’s Francis uses hard work to succeed at the face-off X

Wednesday, 10th March 2010

Categories Boy's/Men's, College  

By Bridget Letukas, Posted 3/10/10

While Marist face-off specialist Matt Francis attacks the game of lacrosse with a decisive aggression, the biomedical science major is taking a more reserved approach to life upon graduation.

Marist's Matt Francis (North Penn)

When asked about his plans for the future, the senior from North Penn High feels no great urge to cement his path at the moment.

“I am trying to keep my options open,” said Francis. “I’m iffy as to what I want to do.”

Named to the Metro Atlantic Athletic All-Academic Team in 2009, Francis isn’t overly worried about what his immediate future. He is currently exploring pharmaceuticals as well as teaching and coaching.

For the time being, Francis and his teammates are enjoying a strong start (3-0) this season, as well as getting set to volunteer this spring working with fourth and fifth grade students as part of a service called Project Mobile.

Francis, however, is swift in his contention that, whatever he chooses, hard work will be part of the equation.

“Hard work pays off,” he says. “It pays to play with heart. It’s kind of been my mindset through athletics, through school.”

That hard work has helped Francis earn the season’s first United Sports Collegiate Scholar-Athlete of the Week. Francis has won 43 of 65 face-offs and is ranked in the top 5 in the nation in that percentage. He also leads the Red Foxes – who have won all their games by three goals or less – with 12 groundballs and has one goal.

“As a whole, we’re pretty tenacious,” said Francis. “We never say die. Nobody gives up on each other.”

According to Francis, his work ethic was instilled in him by his parents. “They’re honestly just the hardest working people I’ve ever met.”

It’s this brand of tenacity that Francis hopes will help his Red Fox squad reach their ultimate goal of winning their conference ~ and the same tenacity he plans to bring to life after Marist.

But, for now, Francis is clear about the future of his season. “Our goals are nothing short of making that (NCAA) tournament.”

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