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UMBC men's lacrosse to meet third ranked opponent in as many games Saturday

Ryan Moran could have eased into his first year as UMBC men's lacrosse coach, but he welcomed the chance to open 2017 against reigning national champion North Carolina, which fell from No. 1 to No. 3 in the most recent Maverik media poll.

The degree of difficulty for the Retrievers (0-2) remained high after Saturday's game at No. 5 Johns Hopkins, and that continues with another road contest against No. 16 Richmond on Saturday. But Moran is not shrinking away from what is arguably the toughest schedule in the country through three games.

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"It's plenty difficult," he said Tuesday morning. "I think it's a testament to [former] coach [Don] Zimmerman for making a challenging schedule, and I'm not shying away from it at all. I like it, I like the schedule. … It does create a formidable February, there's no doubt about that."

The combined record of UMBC's opponents is 5-0, and the Spiders, Saturday's adversary, walloped Fairfield, 15-3, in their opener. While wins might be hard to cultivate, Moran said scheduling three ranked opponents in as many games has made an impression with the players.

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"I think the notoriety of some of the teams that are on our schedule, for our young men, that definitely hits a note with them because they've seen them on TV a lot, they're a presence in this area, they know some of the kids on those teams," he said. "I know that has created a sense of urgency within preparation for our guys, which is what we're going to need moving forward.

"We're going to have to be a team that's very prepared, a team that understands its opponent, and a team that understands how to do the little things throughout the week that will hopefully give us a little bit of an advantage so that we can win some tight games down the road. That's our mindset as coaches."


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