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story.lead_photo.caption Mo Yanis of Capital City drives the ball towards the goal as Trent Wolken of Helias defends during Monday night's game at Capital City High School. Photo by Shaun Zimmerman

It was a sudden turn of events.

Less than a minute into Monday night's "Battle of the Blue" boys soccer game between Capital City and Helias, the Cavaliers were lining up to take a penalty kick.

Clayton Hamler calmly drilled a shot into the lower left side of the net to give the Cavaliers a very early lead on their way to a 2-0 victory against the Crusaders at Capital City High School.

"I don't think it was the hardest foul in the world, but I think he got him," Capital City coach Travis Cairer said. "You rarely see something like that called early, but a foul is a foul."

On the play, Mo Yanis of the Cavaliers was brought down in the penalty area to set up Hamler's kick.

"I know it's frustrating when it happens to you and you're happy when it goes your way," Cairer said.

It was far from the start the Crusaders wanted in the contest.

"That's going to take the wind out of the sails for any team pretty quick," Helias coach Jay Hebenheimer said.

Cairer lauded Yanis for his role in getting the Cavaliers the early lead.

"Mo keeps creating opportunities and putting us in position to win," Cairer said. "He's doing a great job putting us in the right situations."

The Cavaliers doubled their advantage about nine minutes later. In the midfield, Hamler was able to thread a pass to a sprinting Landon Carney, who then drove to the net for the score.

Carney has proven to be a strong scoring threat so far in his junior season

"We've needed him in the back the past couple of years, but the situation we're in now, we need him up front," Cairer said. "I don't know if he's played a lot of forward before, but he gets himself in the right situations, he makes good runs and makes it difficult to defend him.

"And then we have guys that are able to find him wherever he goes. To get the ball to his feet there was big."

Capital City ended the half with an 8-4 edge in total shots.

"We're still trying to get our legs under us," Hebenehimer said, noting it was just the third game of the season for Helias. "We're not in good form right now because we haven't played enough games at the beginning of the season.

"We still haven't figured out who we are. But it will come."

The Cavaliers had a barrage of corner kicks early in the second half in an attempt to stretch their advantage. But Helias keeper Connor Schaefer was able to turn them away.

Schaefer's best save of the night came about 12 minutes into the second half when he got his hands on a liner and deflected it up into the crossbar before grabbing the ball to end the threat.

The Crusaders wanted to be more aggressive with their offense in the second half, but had problems getting anything going.

"We had two players getting out quick instead of eight players getting out quick," Hebenheimer said. "That's never good."

Cuah Vera-Cruz made four saves to get Capital City its third straight shutout.

"Cool," Cairer said. "That's good."

The Cavaliers defense has played a big role in that stretch as well.

"We've been getting some great play out of the back," Cairer said. "They are confident they can play well. They work well together, we still have to work on our communication, but we're starting to piece it together."

In addition to finishing a season sweep of wins against Jefferson City and Helias. Capital City will now keep the "Battle of the Blue" trophy for the next year.

"I'm a fan," Cairer said. "We've taken our lumps the last couple of years against them and I think we're starting to show what we're capable of."

This was the first year the Cavaliers and Crusaders played for the trophy, which is an old traveling golf trophy Hebenhemer altered for the occasion.

"I lost my cup, it's terrible," Hebenheimer said.

Helias (1-2 overall, 0-2 Central Missouri Activities Conference) is back in action today at home against Gateway. The JV game will start at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity around 6:45 p.m.

"We have a lot of work to do and we're not afraid to do that work," Hebenheimer said.

Capital City (6-1, 2-1) is off until Tuesday, Sept. 21, when it will host Missouri Military Academy.

Monday's junior varsity game between Capital City and Helias ended tied at 3.

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