Photography by David Creed
After a pair of one goal defeats to begin their season, the Whaler boys soccer team won their first match of the season, at home, against the Sturgis East Storm 3-0 Monday afternoon behind a pair of goals by Wes Thornewill.
“I don’t think I’ve scored since freshman year of JV,” Thornewill said. “It felt good (to get that first win). I think this team is coming in with lower expectations than last year. We had a really strong season and a ton of seniors. But that first game against Nauset went really well. We have never beat them and were in the game the entire time with them. I think it is good just to get a win on the board for our team confidence. We are going to be a good team this year.”
Thornewill didn’t waste much time to put his team on the board, scoring 55 seconds into the game. The Whalers controlled the pace of play and spent most of their time in the offensive end, but it wasn’t until 17 minutes later that senior captain Treyce Brannigan bullied his way to the front of the net and scored to double Nantucket’s lead.
Thornewill scored his second of the game after beating three defenders for a loose ball, burying it with just over two minutes to go in the first half.
“It feels good to get the W,” head coach Rich Brannigan II said after the game. “We accomplished a lot of what we were looking to do today. We got two goalies playing time, earned the shutout, not lose the first five minutes of the second half because we lost those minutes in the previous two games. We got things done that I want to get done. The boys started the game strong and kind of set the tone early.”
Neither team scored in the second half. Brannigan said minimizing the yellow cards and making sure his team is making smart decisions will be a focal point in the coming days during practice.
“We need to clean those up,” he said. “Most of the cards are kind of cheapy things we have to get out of the game. But our guys are young who are accumulating these cards. A lot are freshman and they may be able to get away with that at the youth soccer level but here it effects the team, playing time, so we will work on them and try to educate them.”
The Whalers are now 1-2 this season. They will have several days to practice and rest up before they host the Barnstable Red Hawks on Friday, September 16, at 4 p.m.
Above are some photos from Monday's game.