The Whaler boys soccer team didn’t get off to the start they were hoping for Tuesday on the road against Barnstable, losing 4-0. But the Whalers were able to bring their record to 1-1 Friday afternoon with a 2-0 win over the Sturgis East Storm despite being without their senior captain Max Beebe, who was on a college visit.
“The guys seemed a bit on edge before the game because it was the first home game of the season,” head coach Rich Brannigan II said. “One of our captains was on a college visit (Max Beebe) so I think there was some uncertainty to that and maybe we were a bit unsure of ourselves. But scoring early definitely helped us settle down.”
That score came in the first three minutes of the game when Treyce Brannigan took a feed from David Lemus-Castro and blasted it past the Sturgis East goalkeeper to the bottom right of the net to give Nantucket a 1-0 lead.
The Whalers expanded their lead to two with about 12 minutes remaining in the first half. Right back Hunter Gross brought the ball into the offensive third of the field and executed an early cross that found striker Yeison Gregorio Castro from about 15 yards out from the net. Castro was able to score off a diving header that snuck the ball into the high right corner of the net.
“It was such a great goal,” Brannigan said. “We went into halftime feeling good. I was really happy with our defense. Silas Moore stepped up into Max’s position in that center back position. I was really happy with everyone. At halftime I made a few adjustments but not a lot. I wanted to play a very similar game in the second half.”
The Whalers continued to keep the play in the offensive end of the field. Whaler goalkeeper Justin Ho-Shue only faced four shots and wasn’t tested much all game.
“We wanted to try to get a third goal and I said lets go get one boys,” Brannigan said. “It never came but I wasn’t disappointed with how we played in the second half. We would win the ball in the middle of the field and take it into the offensive side over and over. We executed our game plan the way we needed to.”
The Whalers will travel on Tuesday to take on Falmouth at 3:30 pm.
In other Whaler sports news from Friday:
Girls soccer loses heartbreaker to St. John Paul II
The girls soccer team is still searching for their first win of the season but played well against a St. John Paul II Lions team that won their first three games of the season by a combined score of 23-1.
“(St. John Paul II) is a really good team,” Whaler head coach Brian King said. “They came out in those first ten minutes and played fast and furious. But it was a really good game that could have gone either way. They came at us real hard to start but then we started settling into what we needed to do and began playing better from there.”
The Lions struck first with a shot in the first half that slipped underneath the hands of goaltender Macy Crowell. King said it was a goal Crowell stops nine out of ten times and that the ball took a strange hop off the ground.
“Macy is stellar for us back there,” King said. “It was a save she almost always makes. It took a weird hop off the ground, which may have thrown her off. But she has been fabulous for us so far this season.”
The Whalers went into halftime trailing 1-0 but tied the game 20 minutes into the second half when Adney Brannigan found Gianna Quinn with a nice cross to make it a 1-1 game.
“Adney got it in the left corner and drove it to the base line,” King said. “Then she crossed it to the front post and one of our girls had a stab at it but missed it. Then a defender had a stab at it and missed it. Then Gianna was on the back post and hit it in off her body and knocked it in. She couldn’t have been in a better place at a better time.”
“Gianna is only a freshman but she has played really well for us. She sees the game well and has adapted well to the speed at the varsity level.”
The Lions stuck a dagger in the hearts of the Whalers, scoring in the final two minutes of the game to steal the win by a score of 2-1.
“All our girls have great attitudes,” King said. “They were frustrated about losing but weren’t getting on each other for the loss. They are ready to move forward to the next game. I think today we really grew as a team today and pushed balls into the areas of the field where we need to. We started to make plays with our heads and do things that we need to be able to do to win these tight games.”
The Whalers will look to earn their first win of the season on Tuesday when they host the Falmouth Clippers at 4 pm.
Field hockey struggling to find offense early on in the season
The Whaler field hockey team struggled to create offense in their 4-0 loss to the Sandwich Blue Knights Friday afternoon. Head coach Dan Weber said he thought his team played well but credited Sandwich and their program for their high-level of play.
“It wasn’t an effort I was discouraged about,” Weber said. “We put in a really solid effort. Obviously on the scoreboard we want it to be different. We are in a really tough part of our schedule right now where we are playing these larger, traditionally tough schools so for us holding our own and playing well against them, which I think we did despite what the scoreboard said, is important to the team and myself.”
Maclaine Willett had 23 saves in net and had another strong game despite the Blue Knights four goal day.
“We have been working on some things with Maclaine, particularly her rebound control, and she did an awesome job with that today,” Weber said. “She has had a strong start to the year and that is something that doesn’t surprise me with her. She is a senior captain for us and I think once we can start building up some of the other areas of our game she will help us turn some of these efforts into wins.”
The Whalers will host Monomoy on Monday at 4 pm.