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CapU finishes first, clinches Nationals berth

Photo Paul Yates / Vancouver Sports Pictures
Photo Paul Yates / Vancouver Sports Pictures

CJ Pentland, CapU Sports Information Director

With two shutout wins over the weekend the Capilano University Blues men’s soccer team clinched first place in the PACWEST, and in doing so earned a berth to the CCAA Nationals in Prince Edward Island.

Needing to sweep their final weekend series on the road against Vancouver Island University to finish first, the Blues won a pair of 2-0 decisions over the Mariners to give them a regular season record of 8-2-2 and 26 points. The results put them in a tie for top spot with Douglas College; however, CapU held the tiebreaker thanks to a 2-1-1 head-to-head record against Douglas.

By finishing first, Capilano receives a bye to the PACWEST Championship final and will play the winner of the semifinal match between Douglas and Langara. The bye to the final also guarantees CapU a spot at the CCAA Nationals, as the top two teams in the PACWEST receive berths. The National Tournament is held at Holland College in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island from November 7 to 10.

In Saturday’s contest 2-0 win, CapU got on the board in the 20th minute on Marco Favaro’s third goal of the season, and Keith Jackson added a late tally in the 87th to secure the win. Hudson Nelles made four saves for the shutout.

The Blues again got out on the right foot on Sunday, with Jackson scoring off a free kick in the first minute of play. In his final PACWEST regular season game, Jackson added another goal midway through the frame for his 13th goal of the season and the 44th of his PACWEST career. The 13 goals give him the PACWEST scoring title for the third-straight season, and his 44 regular season goals in 60 games are the second-most in conference history (former Blue Corey Birza is number one with 49 in 68).

“Keith is extremely consistent, doing what he does year after year,” said Blue head coach Alex Elliott to the PACWEST. “It does not surprise me that he is second all-time on the PACWEST goal scoring chart. His direct approach and speed of play makes a frightening match up for many defenders.”

Three Blues players finished in the top five on the PACWEST scoring leaderboard, with Adrian Sahagun finishing fourth with eight goals in 11 games and Patrick Izett claiming fifth with six in 11. On the goalie leaderboard, Nelles finished in top spot in most categories, including goals against average (1.17), shutouts (6), and save percentage (0.774).

The PACWEST Championships, hosted by Capilano University, get underway at the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex on Friday, October 26 with the semifinal at 2:30pm. The final goes on Saturday, October 27 at 2:30pm.