He came through early, he came through late.
Nate Wilbanks scored the first and third goals Tuesday night for Capital City as the Cavaliers defeated the Jefferson City Jays 3-1 in Central Missouri Activities Conference action at the 179 Soccer Park.
"He's one of those guys that it doesn't matter if he scored the goal, if he helped out in scoring the goal or he is there just to congratulate who scored the goal," Capital City coach Travis Cairer said. "He has the teammate mentality that if we're winning, he's happy.
"He's going to give you 100 percent of what he has, no matter what you need that to be."
Wilbanks, a senior, got the Cavaliers on the board about eight minutes into the contest off an assist by Landon Carney.
While it was nice to get the lead, Cairer couldn't help but look back at last year's meeting with the Jays when the Cavaliers scored first only to see Jefferson City score the next seven,
"It didn't work out so well for us," he said.
But this is a different Jefferson City team, with new starters at every position after graduating 16 seniors.
"We're young and when you play an experienced team, they can make you make mistakes," Jays coach Scott Blake said.
The Cavaliers made it 2-0 with about 15 minutes to go before halftime. Mo Yanis was fouled in the box and Capital City was awarded a penalty kick.
"I don't know that we got a good shake on that call," Blake said. "I think our defender was in pretty good position."
Clayton Hamler took the penalty kick and knocked it into the lower right corner of the net to make it 2-0.
"I feel like the guy that gets fouled may be hurt a little bit or his emotions might be a little high," Cairer said. "It's bit me in the past, it's hard to explain to the guy who draws the PK, but it's one of the decisions of being a coach."
Down two goals, Jefferson City had to get something going.
"When you're playing catch-up, it puts you in a bad spot," Blake said.
The Jays got on the board with a little more than three minutes to go before halftime on a goal by James Zablon.
"That was a good goal for James," Blake said.
That score may have taken some of the wind out of the Cavaliers' sails at the start of the second half.
"We fell off a cliff at the beginning," Cairer said. "I don't think we came out the same team at the start."
It was a back-and-forth half without a goal before Wilbanks found the net off an assist by Paul Chinn with just under 10 minutes remaining.
"We made them work, especially in the second half," Blake said. "We took some things away from them, but we made some mistakes.
"It's tough to make mistakes like that in a game like this, but that's going to happen when you have a young team like we do."
It was the first varsity boys soccer win for Capital City against Jefferson City.
"I knew it was going to be a nail-biter," Cairer said.
Capital City (2-0) will play conference games Thursday at Battle and Friday at Hickman.
"Three conference games this week, half of our conference schedule will be out of the way," Cairer said.
Jefferson City (1-1) is off until next Tuesday when the Jays travel to Hickman.
The Cavaliers and the Jays could meet again at the end of the season in the Class 3 District 4 Tournament, which will be hosted by Jefferson City.
"We need to pick ourselves up and realize that this isn't the one that matters," Blake said. "There's a chance we will see them again in districts and we'd like to reverse this next time."
Capital City won Tuesday's JV game 4-0.