For the third time in four seasons and the 17th time in school history the Capilano University Blues are the top men’s soccer team in the PACWEST, defeating the Langara College Falcons 2-1 on Saturday afternoon in Burnaby to claim provincial gold.
Capilano scored early in each half to build up a 2-0 lead, but Langara hung around and made it a 2-1 game on a goal in the 64th minute. The Falcons threw everything they could at the CapU net over the final 30 minutes, but the Blues back line held tough to secure the win.
The Blues got on the board in the 8th minute on a goal by Adrian Sahagun from the penalty spot. After Marco Favaro went on a run down the wing and was brought down in the box, Sahagun made no mistake with a hard shot under the bar to give CapU the early lead.
Eight minutes out of halftime, the PACWEST Player of the Year Keith Jackson gave the Blues some much-needed insurance when his shot from in front snuck through the legs of Langara keeper Kevin Monk and across the line. Capilano had two other great chances to extend their lead, but Monk denied Sahagun on a breakaway and a free kick by Eric Swanson went off the inside of the post before being cleared out of harm’s way.
The Falcons made it a 2-1 game when they took advantage of a free kick just outside the 18-yard box. After Merlin Fisk’s cross was headed off the crossbar, the rebound was sent across the line by Rookie of the Year Emmanuel Ekeh to get his team back in the game.
Langara had several chances to find the equalizer, including a dangerous strike from 25 yards out by James Millar that Blues keeper Hudson Nelles tipped over the bar, but Capilano held on for the narrow victory.
Jackson was named the Kahunaverse Player of the Game and the 2018 Tournament MVP. Other award winners from Capilano were Sahagun for Top Forward and Nelles for Top Goalkeeper; from Langara, Millar was named Top Defender and Taku Ota was Top Midfielder.
Both teams now turns their sights to the CCAA Men’s Soccer Nationals, hosted by Holland College in Charlottetown, PEI from November 7-10. Capilano will be looking for their seventh national title and first since 2008, while Langara will vie for their first since winning back-to-back titles in 1999 and 2000.
By CJ Pentland