This Whaler Sports Roundup includes updates on the boys soccer team, the girls soccer team, the volleyball team, and the field hockey team ahead of what should be an exciting weekend with Martha’s Vineyard coming to town for the Whaler’s homecoming weekend.
Boys Soccer Extends Win Streak To Six
The Whaler boys soccer team made their senior game a memorable one following a 6-1 victory over the Cape Cod Academy Seahawks Thursday afternoon – improving their record to an impressive 10-3-3.
“The guys played crisper as the game progressed, which is kind of what I asked them at halftime. I had to challenge them somehow,” head coach Rich Brannigan II said. “We came out in the second half and we did play at a higher rate of speed and a little more crispness than we played in the first half. So that was good to see. It gave us the ability to rest a few guys and go through a big rotation today. That's nice because the four games and six days is tough.”
The Whaler goals were scored by Elvis Alonzo (two goals), Andersson Diaz, Alexis Pena, and Bryan Mejia. The sixth goal for Nantucket was an own goal by one of the CCA’s players as they attempted to kick it back out of play.
Brannigan has his team playing some of their best soccer of the season at the perfect time. As the Whaler's win streak continues to grow, so has their seeding. After being in the mid-20s earlier this season in the Div. 4 state tournament bracket, Nantucket has climbed up the power rankings to #12. They will need two convincing wins to end their regular season to avoid a drop due to strength of schedule however.
The final two games will be Saturday, October 28 against Martha’s Vineyard at home at 11 a.m. and Nantucket will close out their season on Monday, October 30 with a game against the Sturgis West Navigators on the road.
The Vineyard is currently outside of the playoff picture at #40 but have a 7-7-3 record. All teams with a .500 or better record qualify for a play-in game if they are outside of the Top 32. Nantucket is the final game of the season for the Vineyard, so a loss to Nantucket would end their season while a win or tie would clinch the Vineyard a play-in match.
Sturgis West is outside of the playoff picture in Div. 4 and has a 2-11-1 record this season. Nantucket beat them 7-2 earlier this year.
Brannigan said he and his team are excited to play for the first ever Golden Anchor on Saturday – a new trophy and a new tradition that will begin this year and take place in the second matchup between Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard every season moving forward in boys soccer, girls soccer, and field hockey.
"It's a cool opportunity,” Brannigan said. “The game by itself before you throw the trophy piece in already has a lot on the line and now that you're playing for a trophy it does make it a little more formal. There's something different about it. We've gone through all the tiebreaker situations which for a regular season game you wouldn't normally have a tiebreak, it would just end in a tie. The game will be recorded as a tie for seeding purposes, but we still need to have a winner for the trophy. So that changes things a little bit, especially for the first game ever in this rivalry for the Golden Anchor. It's exciting to play for something new, something fresh, something that only this group of guys will be able to say that they competed or won that first golden anchor.
Girls Soccer Back To .500 Following Win Over CCA
The Whaler girls soccer team improved their record to 8-8 this season following a solid 3-1 victory over the Cape Cod Academy Seahawks Thursday afternoon. Nantucket’s goals came from junior captain Adney Brannigan, senior captain Claire Misurelli, and sophomore Myah Johnson.
This was the Whaler’s fourth win in their last five games. The winning stretch came after a losing stretch that saw Nantucket lose six of seven. The returns of Brannigan and Misurelli from injury have helped bolster the Whaler’s lineup and given them a late season spark.
Nantucket has two games remaining: home against Martha’s Vineyard on Saturday, October 28 at 1 p.m. and home against Sturgis West on Monday, October 30 at a time to be determined.
With the Whalers currently ranked #29 in Div. 4, these two matchups loom large. The Vineyard is #29 in Div. 3 with a 9-5-1 record while Sturgis West is #28 in Div. 4 with a 6-6-1 record. How Nantucket performs in these games could dictate whether they remain in the top 32 and/or make the state tournament.
Volleyball Beats Sturgis East 3-0
The Whaler volleyball team improved to 11-7 this season following a 3-0 victory over the Sturgis East Storm Wednesday afternoon. The sets were as followed:
Set One: 25-8 Nantucket
Set Two: 25-10 Nantucket
Set Three: 25-20 Nantucket
Senior captain Chloe Marrero finished with 16 kills. Junior captain Vicky Todorova finished with 23 digs. Senior Yahely Del Rosario Gomez had 23 assists.
Nantucket is still in the Top 10 of the latest Div. 4 state tournament bracket and their spot within it appears to be set in stone. They are currently ranked #9 and have a +1.5071 rating while #10 Rockland has a +1.1625 rating. After Rockland at #11 is Pittsfield with a noticeable drop in rating with a +0.5029.
The Whalers have one more regular season match remaining and it will be on Friday, October 27 against the St. John Paul II Lions at 4 p.m. in the Nantucket High School Gym. This match is also the team’s senior game.
Field Hockey’s Win Streak Snapped At Four
The Whaler field hockey team lost to the Dennis-Yarmouth Dolphins on the road Wednesday afternoon 3-0, dropping their record to 8-5-3.
Nantucket came in at #15 in the latest MIAA Div. 4 rankings earlier this week and are hoping to secure a round one home game in the tournament despite Wednesday's loss. Their final game of the season will be on Saturday, October 28 against Martha’s Vineyard at 12:30 p.m.
Friday, October 27:
The volleyball team will host the St. John Paul II Lions at 4 p.m.
Saturday, October 28:
The boys soccer team will play Martha’s Vineyard at 11 p.m.
The field hockey team will play the Vineyard at 12:30 p.m.
The girls soccer team will play Martha’s Vineyard at 1 p.m.
The football team will attempt to bring the Island Cup back to Nantucket after losing on the Vineyard last year 14-13 when the Vineyard comes to the island for a 3:30 p.m. game.
Updated MIAA state tournament brackets are released on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11 a.m. To view them, click here. For more sports content, follow our Current Sports Instagram page here. You can follow Current Sports photographer Chris Tran here.