Hubris had felled many a foolhardy soul in ancient lore prior to that matchup. And the 14th-ranked Tar Heels became only its latest victim, appearing to invoke the ire of some angry gods Saturday night.
The Tar Heels -- with last week's win at Virginia and teasing thoughts of the impending ACC tournament on their minds -- got caught looking past No. 16 UMBC, plodding through an 11-10 loss in front of 2,052 at UMBC Stadium.
"A lot of guys, including myself, were looking forward a little bit to the games in the future," UNC senior defenseman Bobby Gormsen said. "We just can't underestimate any teams. That's what we did. We came out here thinking we were just going to walk all over them."
The loss muddied the postseason outlook for the Tar Heels (5-5) in a hurry.
A win Saturday, at least one win at the ACC tournament this weekend in Orlando, Fla., and a win in their last regular-season game against Pfeiffer nearly would have assured them an at-large spot in the 12-team NCAA tournament.
The only thing that will save them now is an ACC championship. The Tar Heels are the third seed and will play No. 15 Duke in the semifinals Friday.
"We've got to get over this one. This is probably the toughest loss we've had all year," UNC coach John Haus said.
One North Carolina player who clearly had his focus on the Retrievers (5-3) was senior attackman Jeff Sonke.
Sonke finished with three goals and an assist and helped give UNC its only two-goal lead of the game.