Photography by David Creed
Tuesday's Whaler boys soccer game had a little bit of everything. From lead changes to a yellow card to quality defensive plays, Nantucket and the Sandwich Blue Knights duked it out until they both ultimately had to settle on a 3-3 tie.
The Whalers jumped out to a 2-0 lead after one half of play thanks to a beautiful 30-yard boot by Ryan Coleman and a penalty kick goal by Treyce Brannigan, but the Blue Knights scored three consecutive goals in the second half to make it 3-2 with under five minutes remaining in the game.
That is when Coleman came up big for Nantucket and scored his second of the match in extra time to ensure the Whalers wouldn't go home losers of a hard fought game.
"It makes it a little less bitter that we gave up the two goal lead," Whaler head coach Rich Brannigan II said. "Two lessons from today are play until the last whistle and complete for the 80 minutes or whatever the duration of the game is. That is lesson one and probably the most important. Lesson two is we have to find ways to keep or maintain our lead in a situation like that."
Brannigan said he felt like Sandwich upped their offensive game in the second half of play, which is what led to problems for Nantucket.
"Sandwich was making our job much harder in the second half and they were taking a lot more risks, which forced us to try to find ways to mitigate their extra attackers they were throwing in," Brannigan said. "As I digest this now and into the overnight hours and (Wednesday), you have to always remember who your personnel are. A lot of guys don't have the varsity experience so they need to learn these lessons and be in games like this to understand what they have to do to keep the lead or fight back for a tie."
Brannigan said Coleman has shown a knack for being a utility player who has a strong ability to head the ball and attack the back post.
"He nearly had one in the first half of the Vineyard game that would have changed the game," Brannigan said. "It was good to see the guys at the end of the game looking for Ryan and going through the things we have been talking about."
Nantucket will be back in action on Thursday, September 23 when they travel to Rockland to take on the Bulldogs at 4 p.m.