There were four varsity sports teams in action for Nantucket High School Friday and Saturday. The boys and girls soccer teams secured victories on Friday while the field hockey team earned their first win of the season on Saturday. The football team was also in action Saturday evening, but were unable to win their season opener.
Three Goal Effort From Johnson Sparks Boys Soccer Win
A Jake Johnson hat trick sparked an offensive explosion for the Whaler boys soccer team Friday afternoon on their way to a 6-0 win over the Rising Tide Herons to begin their season. Johnson figures to be a centerpiece of the Whaler attack this season and could have had a fourth goal in this game when he dinged the crossbar with a missile of a shot in the second half.
“Jake definitely had a bit of a breakout. There were a few times today where he is learning from all of his experiences last year, and I thought he had a great season last year coming back after a few years away and being able to impact the team the way he did. But (Friday) he didn’t start the game but he comes off the bench and made an immediate impact,” head coach Rich Brannigan II said of the junior striker. “That is what I have been preaching things to the boys. I want a deep bench and it looks like we may have that or the ability to make three, four, five subs and our play won’t drop off as much.”
The Whalers also got two goals from junior Jose Diaz and one goal from junior AJ Johnson. Brannigan said he felt his team got progressively better as the match went along.
The Whalers didn’t complete cuts until Thursday last week - trimming their varsity squad down from about 65 players to 21 - so Brannigan said he was hoping to utilize the weekend and Monday afternoon to give his team their first chance at implementing their systems and formations into their play.
The next match for Nantucket will be on Tuesday, September 12 when they host the Falmouth Clippers at 4 p.m.
Girls Soccer Improves To 4-1 Following Road Win Over Rising Tide
It was a clean sweep for the Nantucket varsity soccer teams Friday afternoon against the Rising Tide Herons. While the boys were taking care of business on the island, the girls soundly beat the Herons 4-1 in Plymouth to improve their record to 2-0
Head coach Doug LeBrecht said after the game that Taylor Bistany and Madden Myers in particular had strong games while the goal scorers for the Whalers were Chelsea Gross, Gianna Quinn, Myah Johnson, and Allyson Escobar.
The Whalers were without junior captain Adney Brannigan, who suffered an ankle sprain in the Whaler’s season opening game against Barnstable last week. Nantucket will likely need to continue operating without her for at least another week or two. Brannigan was in high spirits on Friday however while watching the boys soccer team, which is coached by her father, play the Herons. She said she is doing whatever she can to get back onto the field as soon as possible.
Nantucket’s next game will be another road game on Tuesday, September 12 against the Falmouth Clippers at 4 p.m.
Field Hockey Earns First Win Of Season
The Whaler field hockey team felt as though a slow start in their season opening game last week against Dennis-Yarmouth ultimately led to their frustrating 3-2 defeat. They made it a point to jump out to a fast start on Saturday when they welcomed Dighton-Rehoboth to the island and dominated on both ends of the field on their way to a 2-0 victory.
“I think we came in and we set the tone right off the bat,” head coach Dan Weber said after the game. “We decided the pace in the first two minutes and didn’t allow the pace to get dictated to us which I think happened on Thursday (against DY). The ability to correct two days later and make an improvement on something we have talked about is something good to see.”
Clementine Kelly came off the bench to score Nantucket’s first goal of the game with just over three minutes to go in the first half. As the second half progressed, the Whalers were trying desperately to build on that lead and extend their advantage to two. They eventually got that insurance goal thanks to senior Caroline Allen – who scored her goal with about 11:33 to go in the game. That was Allen’s second goal in as many games and is making the Weber’s decision to move her up to attack look like a good one.
“Getting her up to that frontline has been a big plus for us so far,” Weber said.
The Whalers next game will be Wednesday, September 13 on the road against the Monomoy Sharks at 4 p.m.
Football Drops Home Opener To Carver
The Whaler football team opened their season at home Saturday evening when they hosted the Carver Crusaders, who have Super Bowl aspirations thanks to a strong senior class.
The Whalers meanwhile fielded a young team centered around a strong sophomore class. Nantucket lost the game 40-6, but they showed some signs of life as the game went on.
Brock Beamish, a promising sophomore quarterback, took over for senior captain Carlos Aguilar in an attempt to spark an offense that was struggling to begin the game. Aguilar, an excellent athlete, also has the ability to play running back or receiver and on one of his first plays from scrimmage as a receiver, Beamish hit Aguilar for a 25 yard gain down the left sideline.
Nantucket was unable to get much else going offensively, however. Sophomore running back Amare Bramwell was productive on the ground as a running back and as a returner.
The Whalers struggled to contain the Crusader’s senior quarterback Tyler Lennox, who led Carver to two first quarter scores and a 28-0 lead at halftime. Lennox finished with 209 yards passing and two passing touchdowns while completing 13 of 17 passes. He also had three carries for 29 yards and two touchdowns. He was the star of the day, as well as senior Jameson Helms (9 carries for 81 yards and a touchdown) and Riley Peterson (three catches for 80 yards and a touchdown).
The Whalers will be right back at it next weekend barring a cancellation due to inclement weather. They are scheduled to travel to Mashpee for a 1 p.m. game.
Photography below by Chris Tran.