Part of the motivation behind new coach Ryan Moran scheduling back-to-back games for the UMBC men's lacrosse team against No. 1 and reigning NCAA Division I champion North Carolina and No. 9 Johns Hopkins to start the season was to grab the players' attention and give them some idea of the level of play against upper tier programs.

The Retrievers realized just how wide the gap is after falling 15-5 to the Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon at Homewood Field.

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UMBC has lost the first two games of the season by a combined score of 32-11, which might seem like a reason to be depressed. But Moran said the setbacks should serve a purpose.

"These are the litmus tests," he said. "This is where it really shows our guys that this is what we aspire to be, this is what we aspire to play towards, this caliber of team like Carolina or Hopkins, and that's what we're building towards trying to become."

Unlike the 17-6 pummeling at the hands of the Tar Heels, who scored the game's first eight goals, the Retrievers (0-2) matched Johns Hopkins stride-for-stride in the opening quarter, earning a tie at 2 after 15 minutes.

After the Blue Jays began the scoring with a goal from junior attackman Shack Stanwick (Boys' Latin) just 68 seconds into the game, UMBC responded with a 12-yard goal from sophomore attackman Jack Andrews (St. Mary's) 65 seconds later.

Stanwick fed senior attackman Wilkins Dismuke to convert an extra-man opportunity with five minutes remaining to regain the lead for Johns Hopkins. But Retrievers senior attackman Max Maxwell forced sophomore short-stick defensive midfielder Daniel Jones into a turnover. Maxwell scooped up the loose ball and found freshman attackman Ryan Frawley near the right side of the crease for the goal with 1:43 left in the first quarter.

The second quarter, however, was all Johns Hopkins, which scored all seven goals of the period to take a 9-2 advantage into halftime. In that quarter, the Blue Jays won five of eight faceoffs, took 17 shots to UMBC's three, and picked up eight ground balls to the Retrievers' four.

"I felt like we weren't winning a lot of faceoffs," Moran said of that pivotal second quarter. "I felt like it was make-it, take-it, whereas in the first, we were able to really settle in, get possessions and get quality possessions, generate some good scoring opportunities. We controlled the tempo in the first quarter with the ball and with our faceoff play. They adjusted."

Maxwell was the only player with multiple points on a goal and an assist. Senior goalkeeper Ruston Souder (Chesapeake-AA) had a game-high nine saves.

For the Blue Jays, it was business as usual. After getting goals from seven players and assists from six in a season-opening 15-8 victory over No. 11 Navy on Tuesday night, 10 players scored and four finished with assists against the Retrievers.

"I think we just settled down a little bit," said Stanwick, who led all players with five points on two goals and three assists. "The nerves were high when we were coming out here. Everyone's excited, and I think we got into a groove in the second quarter."

Dismuke added three goals for the second time in as many games, and sophomore midfielder Alex Concannon had three points on one goal and two assists.

Graduate student Gerald Logan made three saves and gave up only three goals in 51 minutes in his second consecutive start before giving way to junior Brock Turnbaugh (one save, two goals allowed).

Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala said the team still needs to work on faceoffs after recording a sub-50 percent success rate for the second game in a row (45.8 on 11 of 24). But he was pleased to see his team peform well in an abbreviated week of preparation after Tuesday's game.

"This was a great challenge for us that way," he said. "And we played a team that's changing their culture. They're doing different things. They'll do great things over there with that staff. They're good guys, and they'll do great things."

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