From a lethargic pace on offense to a carelessness with the ball to a lack of concentration on clears, there's much No. 8 Johns Hopkins can pick and choose when it comes to studying what factors contributed to Saturday's 9-8 loss at No. 6 Loyola Maryland.
But coach Dave Pietramala said any review is futile if the Blue Jays (1-1) don't act on their mistakes and correct them in time for Sunday's home opener against No. 11 North Carolina (2-1) at 12 p.m. at Homewood Field in Baltimore.
"We talked about those lessons, and they're not lessons until we do something with them," he said Wednesday morning. "They're not valuable and you can't take anything away from that game unless you decided to go back on Monday through Saturday and work on them and implement them in the next game."
A first half in which Johns Hopkins trailed 5-2, committed 10 of 16 turnovers, and misfired on four of eight clears laid the foundation for the setback. But it was also the second game of the season, and Pietramala said the players and coaches are still in the early stages of their development.
"Our approach is pretty simple: we're growing," he said. "We're a work in progress. We faced two different teams, two different styles. We faced also one very, very veteran team in Loyola, and a Navy team that really only had two new starters from last year. Loyola only had two new starters from last year in [freshman attackman Pat] Spencer and one of their defensemen [sophomore Foster Huggins]. So we can draw from that and say we have played two teams that are experienced, we've played two teams that are on the upswing from last year. And we can draw positives and say, 'We're competing against what we think are good teams.' But we have to play better."
The Blue Jays won't get much of a breather with the Tar Heels coming to town. Pietramala said one encouraging sign was the pace and energy of Tuesday's practice.
"It's one of the more intense ones we've had in a while, and quite frankly, we needed it," he said. "We need to practice like that more. You don't have to practice as long if you play with that kind of intensity. So there were lessons to be taken. The question is, will we take those lessons and put them to good use? It doesn't do us any good if we say we have to play harder and we've got to be tougher and we don't come out and do that. That's got to be in practice, but that's also got to be carried over into the next game."