Blues & Royals Open Men's Bracket

Photo courtesy of Capilano University
Photo courtesy of Capilano University

#2 Capilano Blues vs. #3 Douglas Royals - Saturday October 28, 10:00am | WATCH HERE

The men’s bracket at the 2017 PACWEST soccer Championship opens on Saturday morning at 10:00am when the two-time defending champion Capilano Blues face the #3 Douglas Royals.

“We are very excited to be heading into the playoff game on Saturday,” says Blues head coach Paul Dailly. “Douglas will be a very difficult game as they have numerous threats offensively that can hurt you. We will have to be on top of our game and be solid for the entire match. We will look to our veteran players to calm the rookies down and slow the game when we need it slowed.”

This game is a rematch of last season’s gold medal game in which the Blues won and don’t think the Royals have forgotten.

As the tournament opens the Blues are coming off a tie with the VIU Mariners to claim their 26th point in the standings. Surprisingly they have just one win over the last three games, but that win was a 6-2 victory over the Royals. In that game the Blues scored five times in the second half and Kaveer Brar recorded a hat trick and Keith Jackson scored twice within three minutes.

Other than that game the Blues and Royals have been even in head to head matches dating back to their first meeting where the Royals won 2-1. Two weeks later the Blues got a bit of payback with a 1-0 victory where Hudson Nelles stopped all seven shots and Jackson scored the lone goal.

The main difference between these two teams is the offensive firepower. The Blues outscored the Royals 32-24 and allowed an incredible 15 fewer goals. Blues’ forward Keith Jackson leads the Conference with 11 goals while Nicholas Morello has seven. Conversely the Royals leading scorer is Race Williams who has five goals.

If this game comes down to the keeper the Blues should have the advantage. Hudson Nelles has been sparkling with a goals against average of 0.82 and has five shutouts. The Royals have platooned Joel Webb and Ryo Mizuno. Webb has the best goals against average on the team with a 1.14 where Mizuno has the lone shutout and a 1.25 goals against average.

The Royals offence has been a tail of two different months. In September they finished 1-4-2 and all their games were decided by one goal. Then here in October they are 4-2 and scoring goals to the tune of 15 in the last six games.

Head coach Robby Toor says this year has been up and down, "We are excited to get provincials underway. It's been a long roller coaster season for us and the team is finally ready to get the second season started. Capilano is a very good side and have been the team to beat for the past few seasons and we are looking forward to a tough test and the guys are very motivated heading up to Quest for provincials this year.”

All that said, the PACWEST Championship is a completely different season and anything can happen in a one game playoff match. Kick-off is set for Saturday morning at 10:00am.