For the Stony Brook men’s lacrosse team to finish where it wants, it’s all about the start.

The Seawolves quickly found themselves trailing for the second straight game, and the contest ended with a similar result as Stony Brook dropped its America East opener to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 12-9, yesterday at Stony Brook’s LaValle Stadium.

“We kind of came out and weren’t really ready to go,” attack Ryan Bitzer said. “We came out down by four and we lost by three, so that’s kind of been the story of our season so far, coming out slow. We were able to get back and tie it up but we couldn’t hang on, so definitely disappointing.”

Stony Brook (4-2) trailed 4-0 after the first period before scoring the first four goals of the second. But as would be a common theme throughout the game, the the Seawolves were unable to pull ahead.

Stony Brook brought the score to within one five times and tied the score twice. But the Seawolves never led the game.

“It’s frustrating because I feel like we’re making a habit of it,” said midfielder Alex Corpolongo, who led Stony Brook with five goals. “Besides the Brown game, I think that we’ve come out a little slower than we’d like to in a couple of our games, so we’re kind of playing catch up and today we couldn’t catch up all the way.”

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UMBC (3-4) and Stony Brook were tied at 7 with 14 minutes remaining after Stony Brook’s Tom Haun scored the final goal of the third period and Corpolongo scored the opening goal of the fourth. But the Retrievers scored three goals in a span of one minute, 13 seconds and five unanswered goals to break the game open.

“When we get tied like that, we need to put the pedal to the metal and keep going,” Bitzer said. “We can’t just keep giving up quick goals after we tie it and it’s on the offense for us to keep putting it in the back of the net.”

The Seawolves look to use the early conference loss and two straight defeats as a learning lesson as the America East season picks up.

“Success is a poor teacher,” Corpolongo said, “so I think we’re going to use this to learn, get better. It’s a long season so I’m still completely confident in our team.”

Next up will be a battle of Long Island’s two Division I programs as the Seawolves play at Hofstra at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

“It’s a great rivalry game and they’re having a real good year,” coach Jim Nagle said. “So it’s a good game for us to kind of wipe the slate clean and see if we can improve the next couple of days.”