Only a Robin Shroot equaliser, courtesy of a spill from Cumbrians' goalkeeper Adam Collin, ensured Stevenage, who reached the play-offs last year, had something to show from their first game.
The equaliser came two minutes from time and 15 on from when Matty Robson gave Carlisle the lead. And Smith, while relieved to come away with a share of the spoils against the Cumbrians, admitted he shares the fans' anticipation of another triumphant season this term.
"The expectations have begun to build around the place but we didn't quite find our fluency. I think it's probably the old adage - if you can't win, don't get beaten," Smith said.
He added: "The disappointment for us was that we didn't carve out enough clear-cut opportunities. The fluent play that we've seen all pre-season was missing. Choices and quality on the ball lacked precision.
"This is going to be a real process for us. The fans rightly expect an awful lot of the players, we expect a lot of ourselves, and we now look forward to remedying that."