For the second time in as many seasons, Ryan Brown scored eight goals in a game. And for the second time in as many seasons, Johns Hopkins failed to convert the attackman's success into a victory.
So it's not too much of a surprise that the Sykesville resident and Calvert Hall graduate said he would gladly exchange his 8-for-13, one-assist outing in Sunday's 15-12 loss at No. 11 Ohio State for a win.
"It's good to score all those goals for yourself because it shows that your hard work is paying off and it keeps you motivated to work hard and get better," Brown said Wednesday morning. "But at the same time, we lost a big game, and it would have been a great W for us."
The Blue Jays fell to 4-6 overall and 1-1 in the Big Ten. They are tied for third place in the conference with Michigan (5-5, 1-1) but can improve their standing with a victory over Penn State (3-7, 0-2) on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Homewood Field.
"We're still in OK shape here," coach Dave Pietramala said Wednesday morning. "Each game grows a little bit more important. That's the way it's going to be. The nice thing is you have Penn State, you have Michigan, and you have Maryland. So you've got three important games still ahead of you. We still have our goals ahead of us, which is to make the Big Ten tournament, and that's a good thing."
Brown said the mood among the players remains optimistic.
"We didn't really do what we needed to get done before conference play, but it doesn't mean that we can't make the NCAA tournament with a Big Ten win to get that automatic qualifier," he said. "As Coach has said, we still have everything we want in front of us. We've just got to play better.
"It's really just the little things. We keep shooting ourselves in the foot. We make dumb mistakes on the field that give up goals or we're not breaking out at the right time or someone's not in the right spot or we miss an easy slide. It's the little things that we're beating ourselves up with."