The Jefferson City Jays had the better of play early Tuesday night, but the Capital City Cavaliers had the lead.
It happens. It also got the Jays' attention.
"We had them on their heels a little bit before that, but that's the game of soccer," Jefferson City coach Scott Blake said after the Jays rebounded from the deficit to score the final seven goals in a 7-1 victory against the Cavaliers at Capital City High School. "It takes just one play to make a game interesting.
"It changed the game, it put us in a unique position. I didn't like being down, but we had to fight a little bit to get back into the game."
Jefferson City trailed for about three minutes before scoring a pair of goals to take the lead for good. Ethan Blake sprinted to get open and score to tie it, before Blake assisted on a goal by Zach Leary to give Jefferson City the lead for good midway through the first half.
"If we were a little younger, a little more inexperienced, I think the game could really have shifted," Scott Blake said. "But we didn't freak out, we just got back to work."
Kory Smith gave the Cavaliers the lead, lofting a long ball into the far corner of the net.
"It was a nice strike," Capital City coach Travis Cairer said.
The Jays finished the half with a 14-2 edge in total shots, including an 8-1 edge in those on net.
"They obviously had the better run of play, but we were finding stuff here and there," Cairer said. "We struggled under pressure last year and the fact that we were able to come up under pressure and do some halfway decent things was an upside for us."
Ethan Blake made it 3-1 about six minutes into the second half on a penalty kick after a handball call in front of the Capital City net. Breck McGrail then scored off a rebound 10 minutes later.
Joe Kuster, a sophomore, got his first varsity goal a minute later off a corner kick.
"Joe found a way to knock it in," Blake said.
Ethan Blake then wrapped up a hat trick midway through the second half before Bassil Ahmed wrapped up the scoring with about six minutes remaining.
Ahmed and Kuster scored after playing their first varsity football games Saturday for Jefferson City. In football, Ahmed booted an extra point, while Kuster made a tackle on the ensuing kickoff.
"You always worry about multisport guys getting injured, but it was great to see them both contribute Saturday," Scott Blake said.
Carier said the final score was in no way indicative of the play of goalie Cuah Vertz-Cruz, who finished with 10 saves.
"He was upset, any good keeper would be," Cairer said. "My high school coach always told our keeper that he needed him to make every save he should make and come up with three big saves.
"Cuah made more than three big saves for us."
Giving up that many goals was a team effort for the Cavaliers.
"We had a turnover once and three passes later, they've got a guy one vs. one against our defender they touched and scored," Cairer said. "People can look at the defender or the keeper, but we lost the ball here, we couldn't stop the pass there and all of the sudden they're in front of our goal. It's a team effort to keep the ball out of the net.
"We're not closing down space, we have to do a better job of that."
The game, the first meeting between the two teams and the Central Missouri Activities Conference debut for both teams, was originally scheduled to be a Jefferson City home game at Eddie Horn Field. But Tuesday morning's rain moved the game to the turf at Capital City.
The Jays wore wrist bands and some had T-shirts under their jerseys Tuesday to honor Orentheus Pitts, a Jefferson City student who was killed during the summer. The team had planned to remember Pitts in its first home game, but will do it later in the season.
Jefferson City (2-0) will play Saturday at Camdenton before hosting Hickman next Tuesday in a CMAC contest.
"This might be the best team we play this season, maybe unless we make a deep run in the playoffs," Cairer said.
Capital City (0-2) has two more CMAC home games this week — Thursday against Battle and Friday against Hickman.
The JV game Tuesday, shortened to one half, ended scoreless.