Saturday's 10-7 loss at No. 19 Michigan was a disappointing outcome for UMBC, which had won three of its previous four games. The feeling was compounded by the defense's inability to scoop up a ground ball twice and giving up an empty net goal that might have proved to be the difference between a loss in regulation and overtime.

As discouraging as the setback was, however, coach Ryan Moran said the contest does not have too much of an impact on the Retrievers' stated quest of earning a berth in the America East tournament and aiming for a shot at the NCAA postseason.


"We want to win every game," he said Monday morning. "We had a good streak going with the last two road games, and we knew this trip would be the longest and the most difficult in terms of recovery. … It was tough going into the game, but in the grand scheme of things and what our ultimate goals are in terms of getting into the America East tournament and putting ourselves in a position to get the automatic qualifier to the NCAA tournament, those goals are all still in front of us. The next month is obviously going to dictate whether we're able to accomplish that or not."

Saturday's game against the Wolverines ends the non-conference portion of the schedule for UMBC (3-5 overall and 1-0 in the America East), which can now shift its target to chasing No. 8 Albany (6-1, 2-0) and Binghamton (6-1, 2-0) in the league.

"I do think that it helps narrow that focus of, 'OK, here now is our objective,'" Moran said. "We've got conference games the whole way out, and we're going to take each game one at a time and just focus on those teams and nothing else and focus on hopefully accumulating enough wins in the conference to put ourselves in position to win that conference tournament."

That mission begins Saturday when UMass Lowell (2-8, 0-2) visits UMBC Stadium in Catonsville at 3 p.m. But Moran said he does not feel a need to remind the players of what's at stake throughout the month of April.

"I don't think we need to overemphasize it, and we're not going to overemphasize to our guys the importance of a league game and owning our league and controlling our destiny that way," he said. "UMass Lowell is 0-2 in the league and has dropped games to Albany and Binghamton, which I think are really strong teams. I don't think a lot of people know about Binghamton, but they're 6-1 and are just having a great season. So [UMass Lowell has] lost to some really good teams in our league, and they're going to be hungry to try to get a win and help control their fate in the league.

"So we're going to play a team that is going to be playing with a tremendous sense of urgency, and we're going to have a team that is going to be fighting super hard. So we've got to make sure that our guys understand that and are able to match that urgency, and I think that's a big theme for this week."

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