It took about 10 minutes for the Capital City Cavaliers to get going.
But then they got going.
Clayton Hamler scored three goals Saturday to lead the Cavaliers to a 5-0 win against the Southern Boone Eagles at Capital City High School.
"The start definitely was a little shaky, a little rusty," Capital City coach Travis Cairer said.
The lack of playing in a Jamboree against other opponents may have had something to do with it.
"It seemed like everybody went back to what they were doing pre-COVID and that left us out because we didn't have anything then," Cairer said. "We didn't have any experience against other teams, we had a varsity-JV scrimmage, but that's not quite the same."
After the slow start, the Cavaliers' offense began to pass with a purpose.
"We started connecting a little bit better," Cairer said.
Hamler got the Cavaliers on the board midway through the first half on a long liner, then added another goal about 10 minutes later. The second score came when the senior knocked the ball off the opposite post and into the net.
The Cavaliers extended their lead to 4-0 with a pair of goals in the final six minutes of the half.
Miles Andrews got the first one with about six minutes to go before intermission.
A good possession led to the second score. The Cavaliers sent a crossing pass through the front of the Eagles' net, where Mo Yanis directed it back to Raphael Ike, who put it into the net.
"Those are the ones you really like to see," Cairer said. "It was a good play to get that score, good connection, good flow that ends up with just a tap-in."
Hamler then got his hat trick with a score 12 minutes into the second half.
Cairer believes he has a lot of players capable of having big offensive games among his forwards and midfielders. Saturday, it was Hamler.
"We have several kids who can step into that role and be productive," Cairer said. "I like the fact we have some guys that we can move around, especially if someone is clicking that day."
Cuah Velez-Cruz got the shutout in goal for the Cavaliers, who did a good job of keeping anything dangerous away from the Capital City net.
"We were pretty organized," Cairer said. "We were giving up silly goals last year, but we kept a clean sheet today.
"Hopefully, we can continue that through November. That would be cool."
Capital City (1-0) will travel north a few miles Tuesday night to take on Jefferson City (1-0) at the 179 Soccer Park in the Central Missouri Activities Conference opener for both teams.
"We just want to continue how we played in the last 70 minutes today," Cairer said.
The JV game will start at 5 p.m. Tuesday, with the varsity contest to follow around 6:45 p.m.