It looked like No. 4 Maryland men’s lacrosse would travel home after a brutal road loss to No. 5 Syracuse when, in overtime, Michael Leo dove and snuck a shot past Terps’ goalie Logan McNaney.

But Leo landed well within the crease, wiping out the goal and gifting Maryland another possession with about a minute left in the first overtime.

They needed a fraction of that time, scoring in seconds to escape Syracuse with a 13-12 victory Saturday night. The winning tally came from an unlikely hero: George Stamos, a redshirt freshman defender who entered the game with just one career goal.

“It wasn’t drawn up for that … I just held my stick there as an outlet,” Stamos said.

The Terps (3-0) passed their hardest test of the early season and picked up their first win over a top-five opponent. They face two more, No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 3 Virginia, in their next three games.

Maryland enters those contests with concrete evidence they belong among the country’s best teams.

Sophomore attacker Braden Erksa tied his career-high with four goals, leading Maryland’s best offensive performance of the year thus far. It scored on 13 of 29 shots, much-welcomed efficiency for a team that shot 27.7 percent entering the game.

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The Terps relied heavily on Ajax Zappitello. He defended the country’s leading scorer, sophomore attacker Joey Spallina, one-on-one for the majority of the game and held him to one goal and two assists.

“We always play a system. You do have a game plan and you have some scouting reports,” coach John Tillman said. “Ajax is a guy that we have a ton of confidence in.”

Spallina picked up his only point of the first half early. He found sophomore midfielder Luke Rhoa, who fired a bullet into the net from well outside for the game’s first score.

Three minutes later, Erksa fought through an illegal body check in front of the crease to even the score at one. The Terps had an opportunity to take the lead with the Orange a man down. Instead, Syracuse’s Mason Kohn took the ensuing faceoff straight to the net to retake the lead.

Erksa, the reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year, struggled for the rest of the first half. He took just one more shot and committed three turnovers.

But he didn’t need to, as the depth around him commanded the first half. Five Terps scored a goal in the first quarter on just seven combined shots.

Maryland had control of the game with just over three minutes left in the first half and a 5-2 lead. The Terps lost it quickly. After a Leo goal, Joshua Coffman committed a cross-check to give the Orange a man-up opportunity.

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The Terps looked out of sync on the ensuing possession, allowing Leo to find space for a second-straight score. Suddenly, they led by just one at halftime.

“It took them a little while to get their feet set,” Zappitello said. “Then once they did it was like, ‘Okay, we’re playing big boy lacrosse now.’ This is what we came here to do. And I think it was awesome.”

After Erksa and Rhoa once again traded goals to start the second half, Spallina found the net for the first time to tie the game for the first time since the first quarter.

A rejuvenated Orange also got stronger play from its goalie, Will Mark. He had saved just three shots in the first half but stopped five of seven Terps attempts in the third frame — including a pair of diving saves.

The Terps saw the opposite trend from their goalie. McNaney limited Syracuse (3-1) for most of the first three quarters. But the Orange’s first three fourth-quarter shots on goal found the net and gave it an 11-9 cushion.

McNaney didn’t receive much support from his defensive unit — one that allowed 29 shots in the second half compared to the Terps’ 16.

Maryland roared back with three of the last four goals in regulation to send the game to overtime. There, a frenzied overtime ended with Stamos’ strike to give the Terps an early-season statement win.

“I don’t think either team deserved to lose,” Tillman said.