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Veteran vs. Rookie

Photos courtesy of Vancouver Sports Pictures and Northfield Photography
Photos courtesy of Vancouver Sports Pictures and Northfield Photography

As PACWEST soccer heads in the final weekend of the regular season there are two players vying for the PACWEST scoring title at completely opposite ends of their career.

Keith Jackson of the Capilano Blues is the veteran fifth year senior who can take over a game in a matter of minutes. Coming into the season most around the Conference anticipated for him to have another outstanding season which he has. With two games to play Jackson has 10 goals in 10 games.

Last season Jackson won the PACWEST scoring title as he scored 11 goals in 11 games played. Most aren’t surprised to see him at the top of the scoring list again this season.

“Keith is extremely consistent, doing what he does year after year,” says head coach Alex Elliott. “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.”

What some are surprised at is rookie Emmanuel Ekeh of the Langara Falcons. The Surrey native has turned on his play in the last couple of games and has helped the Falcons punch their ticket to the playoffs. Ekeh has 10 goals in their first 11 games including scoring a pair in their last contest. He has had four multi-goal games including scoring a hat trick against VIU in September.

“Emmanuel reached out to me during the winter, interested in going to College and playing soccer,” says Falcons’ head coach Marc Rizzardo. “I invited him out to our spring sessions, and from the very first day, I knew we had a gem. He is not your typical striker. He is unorthodox but has the common denominator all good goal scorers have: he is quick and he is deceptive. His off field work ethic is very good but the one trait you will see from him every day at training or in a game, is his big smile. He loves to play soccer and he loves to score. For us he has been a breath of fresh air. His love of the game is infectious and as a result he brings all the spirits of the rest of the team up when he arrives at the field.”

In their three meetings this season both Jackson and Ekeh have scored three goals against each other.

Unfortunately these two snipers won’t go head to head this weekend as the Blues will play a pair of games against the VIU Mariners while the Falcons visit the Douglas Royals. However they appear to be on a crash course to meet in the semi-final at the PACWEST championship the following weekend.