The Nantucket High School Boys Soccer Team has had a strong start to their season. They kicked off with three consecutive wins, and a bitter loss followed by two more wins; giving the team a 5-1 record. Their opener was a 2-0 game vs the Pope, followed by a 5-1 win against Monomoy, and then a stunning 7-0 against Cape Cod Academy at home.
The three game streak was broken when playing an out of conference game away at Barnstable, where they suffered their first loss of the season, the score being 0-4. However, the team came back with fire, crushing Falmouth Academy 7-1 and Sturgis East 4-1 last Thursday at home.
Freshman defenseman, Charlie Clarke, said we should predict “a deep playoff run” for the season. His brother, Junior captain, Emmet Clarke agreed with this statement, “The season has been going well so far, the boys have been putting in a lot of work and hopefully we can show that on the field.”
Though pleased with the wins and the boys performance, coach Richard Brannigan II advised his team to not get too caught up in the success.
“We are progressing and improving each day, each game. It’s about the process and we need to be patient. Patience will get us where we want to be,” commented Brannigan.
With every new season comes the readjustment of teams following the loss of key senior players from the previous season. They boys soccer program lost seven strong players, and have been working to recover and fill these positions with new players. Coming off of an undefeated season last year, the boys were looking to mimic that record. The early loss to Barnstable a hard hit for the boys, but they remain positive looking forward to the rest of their season.
“When you’re losing players like Simon [Johnson] and Andy [Dawson] it’s hard to replace them, but we still have a talented team and there a lot of players ready to fill those gaps. The Barnstable game was very disappointing and we weren’t able to play our game like we wanted to. There were a lot of simple errors that cost us and now we will focus on eliminating those and get the season rolling again,” said E.Clarke
In addition to the loss of several seniors, the team has also lost a record number of current players in this first month of their season. Almost ten players have left the boys varsity program this season due to differences with the coach, as well as time commitment issues. When asked about the players, C. Clarke explained, “..they did what they had to do. They were frustrated and many are in honors or AP classes and it wasn’t worth it for them… I understand where they’re coming from but I wouldn’t have made the same choice.”
The boys varsity soccer program has faced some challenges this season, but they still have a lot to look forward to in the rest of their season, and into the postseason.