Just like every other spring sport last year, the Capital City Lady Cavaliers soccer team didn't get the opportunity to play its season.
What made it sting just a little more was the fact it was supposed to be the first season for Capital City.
"A lot of the girls are excited about getting into a high-school season, it's always a big deal," Capital City coach Travis Cairer said. "But I don't think they're as excited as they were last year when it was brand new.
"They've had a chance to settle into high school, they've seen so many other sports go. I think they're in a different mindset, they're more mature. We're not a bunch of antsy freshmen, which is what we were last year."
On the plus side, the Lady Cavaliers do return all 11 starters from last year.
"Every single one of them from last year's Jamboree at least," Cairer said with a laugh.
The Lady Cavaliers will make their debut tonight when they travel to Moberly to take on the Lady Spartans. And while it will be their first-ever soccer game, many of the Lady Cavaliers have had experience playing other sports.
"I think that will help us be a little more prepared for playing at the high-school level," Cairer said.
Capital City has 16 players — 14 sophomores and two juniors — on its roster and will not play junior varsity games this season.
The Lady Cavaliers were 2-0-1 in Jamboree action Tuesday night against Rock Bridge, Hickman and Battle in Columbia.
"It was a good showing," Cairer said. "We're going to see those three times at least once more this season, we played well against them.
"We weren't mistake-free by any means, but we got the job done by making some things work."
In the final scrimmage against Rock Bridge, Capital City played a 3-5-2 formation.
Brooklynn Greene, Rylea Sanning and Kylie Reed started in the back for the Lady Cavaliers in that contest. The five midfielders were Ayanna Clark, Courtney Blatz, Jada Adadey, Kirstin Chapman and Tatum Barger. Olivia Sloan and Georgia Pardalos were the forwards.
"We could be a little more fundamentally sound possessing the ball, but it's early and that will come," Cairer said.
Natalie Allison was in goal for the Lady Cavaliers and made a big save late to preserve a scoreless tie against the Bruins.
"We have a lot of girls who can play a lot of different positions," Cairer said. "I think as the year goes on, everyone will find their niche."
That process started in the Jamboree, to mixed results.
"I may have been a little overzealous thinking a bunch of girls that hadn't been on the field all together yet were going to to be fluid," Cairer said. "That's what I wanted, anyway."
After tonight's game, Capital City will return to action against Helias in a Central Missouri Activities Conference contest March 31. Then comes a busy stretch of the season.
"That's the start of playing six in a week, then five in a week, then four in a week," Cairer said. "Spring is a short season, so you're always packing games in. And we had some dates that needed to be changed, it just the way it shook out."
The schedule eases late with only two games in each of the final three weeks.
"That will give us time to rest and recover for the start of districts," Cairer said.
Staying healthy is one of the big keys to having a successful season, Carier said.
"I think we've got some good talent," he said. "I think we're going to see some success, that doesn't always mean wins, but in the way we play and our mentality. We're going to get a lot out of this season.
"We are looking to reach our potential and if we come anywhere near that as players, we're going to see a lot of success."
And being such a young team, the future looks bright for the Lady Cavaliers.
"We're ahead of the game with 10 sophomore starters," Cairer said. "That puts us in a unique situation looking toward the future."