CJ Pentland, CapU Sports Information Director / Photo Paul Yates, Vancouver Sports Pictures
Four members of the Capilano University Blues men’s soccer team received accolades from the PACWEST on Wednesday, including a pair who took home two of the conference’s top awards.
Fourth-year forward Keith Jackson was named PACWEST Player of the Year for 2017, as voted on by the coaches. As team captain, Jackson led the league in scoring for the second-straight season with 11 goals in 11 games – four more than the next-highest total. A Communications student at CapU, he recorded three game-winning goals on the year, and was named PACWEST Athlete of the Week in week 1 after a hat trick in the season opener against Langara.
Jackson improved on a successful 2016 campaign where he was named a CCAA All-Canadian, CCAA Academic All-Canadian, CCAA National Scholar, and PACWEST All-Star. Through four seasons at Capilano, the North Shore native is now in second place on the school’s all-time scoring list with 38 goals in 54 career games (including playoffs).
“[Keith] has had another fantastic season,” said head coach Paul Dailly. “He’s got a nose for the net, and with his work rate he creates chances for himself and everyone else.”
For the third year in a row and seventh time overall, Dailly was named PACWEST Coach of the Year. On the heels of winning gold at the 2016 PACWEST Championships and bronze at CCAA nationals, Dailly brought in a talented recruiting class to complement a solid core of returners. With 13 first-years on the roster, the Blues finished 8-2-2 in PACWEST play and are currently ranked #6 in the latest CCAA National Rankings. In his 15th season at Capilano, Dailly will be the PACWEST nominee for CCAA Coach of the Year – an honour which he’s won twice (2016, 2007).
Joining Jackson on the PACWEST Conference All-Star Team are defender Nicolas Morello and goalkeeper Hudson Nelles.
A fifth-year defender, Morello established himself as perhaps the most versatile player in the league. Primarily a right back, the North Vancouver native displayed the ability to both shut down the opposition’s top forwards with his strength and use his speed to jump into the offence and develop an attack. His seven goals were tied for second-most in the PACWEST, and he also set up several other goals with his precision passing and long throw-ins into the box.
A Business student at Capilano, Morello was named PACWEST Athlete of the Week in week 2 of the regular season, and on October 15 he recorded his first career PACWEST hat trick against Langara.
“He’s got bit of everything,” said Dailly. “He’s got speed to get forward, strength on the ball, and he’s physical. As full back he’s strong in the back, and when he jumps up into the play he’s got a nose for the net.”
Nelles was named a conference All-Star for the second year in a row. A fourth-year goalie from North Vancouver, Nelles ranked a close second in all PACWEST goalie categories with a 0.82 goals against average (9 goals in 11 games) and five shutouts – including a stretch of three in a row in September. The Business student was a leader on the defensive end for CapU, and made many timely saves when called upon.
“Credit to the back four in front to limit chances, but when [Hudson] was called upon to make a crucial save he rose to the occasion. It’s always nice to know for the back four that when there’s a mistake he can bail them out.”
The awards come on the eve of the PACWEST Championships held in Squamish at Quest University, where the Blues will vie for their third-straight PACWEST gold medal. Capilano heads into the tournament as the #2 seed, and will face #3 Douglas College on Saturday, October 28 at 10:00am. The game can be live-streamed on pacwestbc.tv.