Photography by David Creed
The Whaler girls soccer team obliterated the Bristol-Plymouth Craftsmen 9-0 Tuesday afternoon to kick the fall season off for themselves and Whaler athletics as a whole.
Sophomore Adney Brannigan led the way with five goals and added three assists. Chelsea Gross had three goals and two assists. Emery Bouchard scored the other goal.
Ella Scott recorded her first career varsity shutout and head coach Doug LeBrecht earned his first win as the program’s coach. LeBrecht said he was very pleased with how his defensive backs played and felt like they were largely responsible for Nantucket’s overall success on Tuesday.
“They developed the play in the back, we stayed patient in the middle and waited for our team to load up and then they attack,” he said. “(Offensively) they weren’t afraid to shoot. They weren’t afraid to follow up shots. They weren’t afraid to confront the ball.”
Brannigan scored her first goal about five minutes into the game and followed it up ten minutes later with a rocket from outside the box that beat the Craftsmen goalkeeper high to give Nantucket a 2-0 lead with 24:28 left in the first half. Gross added Nantucket's third goal just minutes later off a shot that ricocheted off a Bristol-Plymouth defender in front of the net to give the Whalers a 3-0 lead that would stand going into halftime.
Goalie Ella Scott made a pair of solid saves just before halftime, which made a positive impression on her coach.
“She played unbelievable today,” LeBrecht said. “That one slide tackle she had to clear the ball (in the first half), I mean, she’s got that tenacity to do that but she really stood up today and proved that. It solidified she is our goalie.”
The offensive explosion in the second half began eight minutes in off a goal from Emery Bouchard to make it 4-0. The Whalers dominated ball possession for most of the game, especially in the second half. LeBrecht pointing to junior Claire Misurelli’s stingy defense that helped create some offense on the other end.
But the Whalers had nothing to more to show for their chances in the offensive end until Brannigan scored her third of the game with 18 minutes to go in the game to make it 5-0. The Whalers went on to score four more times in the next 15 minutes to sink the Craftsmen and start their season 1-0.
The nine goals scored by this young Nantucket team is just three shy of what the team was able to score all of last season.
The Whalers will be in action again on Thursday when they travel to Sturgis East to take on the Storm at 4 p.m.