Maryland men’s lacrosse looked to clear the ball after a Logan McNaney save with just over a minute left in the fourth quarter and stuck in a tie with Michigan.

The Terps couldn’t push the ball to their offensive side of the field. Justin Tiernan scooped up a ground ball and darted toward the cage with no Maryland defender in front of him.

“We just didn’t have good containment there,” coach John Tillman said.

Tiernan dove towards McNaney and fired a shot into the back of the cage that proved to be the game-winning goal. No. 7 Maryland fell to No. 19 Michigan in a back-and-forth Saturday affair in Ann Arbor, 12-11. The Terps lost their first Big Ten opener since 2019, dropping their third game in their last four contests in the process.

Maryland’s offense struggled mightily in the first quarter. The Terps (5-3, 0-1 Big Ten) turned the ball over five times in the frame and missed their first six shots.

Daniel Maltz finally scored in a man-up opportunity with just over a minute left in the period — extending his streak of scoring in every game this season — to avoid an opening quarter shutout. Maltz added two goals in the fourth frame for his third hat trick this season.

Maltz’ first-quarter goal got Maryland’s unit rolling with better offensive looks. Eric Spanos, Eric Malever and Braden Erksa each struck within the first six minutes of the second frame to give the Terps their first lead of the game.

[No. 5 Maryland men’s lacrosse can’t keep up with No. 3 Virginia in 14-10 loss]

Owen Murphy and Jack Koras goals later in the quarter kept Maryland ahead at halftime, 6-5. The Terps’ democratized offense allowed six different players to score all of their first-half goals.

Maryland’s third-period offense reverted to its early issues — it gave away five turnovers and shot just over 12 percent in the frame. Erksa was the lone Terp to score in the quarter.

“Just another game with a lot of turnovers,” Tillman said. “You’re really not getting the possessions that you want.”

Maltz’ two fourth-quarter goals pushed Maryland ahead with 6:37 left in the game. But the Terps’ inability to close — both on offense and defense — resulted in a narrow loss.

Tillman said Thursday that Maryland’s defense will see its most picks in any game this season against the Michigan offense. The coach believed communication and good decisions would be key to limit the Wolverines (6-3, 1-0 Big Ten).

But the Terps struggled defensively early. Michigan struck first as Maryland’s defense lost track of a cutting Tiernan, and a poor decision on a Wolverines screen freed up John Morgan to extend the lead to 2-0 less than five minutes in.

The Terps’ unit locked in over the rest of the first half. Michigan missed its final three shots and made just two of its 10 looks in the second period, and Maryland forced six turnovers over the final 10 minutes of the first quarter.

[Maryland men’s lacrosse has democratized its offensive approach]

Maryland’s defense relatively handled the Wolverines’ star three attackers — Tiernan, Michael Boehm and Ryan Cohen — over the first two quarters.

Tiernan and Cohen scored in all of Michigan’s games this season entering Saturday, while Boehm tortured the Terps in their two meetings last year with four and five goals respectively.

Tiernan struck in each quarter, while Boehm and Cohen each scored in the second frame. But the trio combined for three turnovers over the first two periods, aiding in Maryland’s halftime lead.

The Terps’ strong defense against the trio continued into the second half as they were held scoreless in the third quarter. But Tiernan found the net early in the fourth frame for his eighth hat trick this season. His two late goals tied the game and secured the win.

“We did such a good job to get the lead … we just never really got it where we can get it to two,” Tillman said.

McNaney performed poorly in the Terps’ past three games, finishing with sub-50 percent save rates in every outing. The graduate student defended the cage well in the first half, saving seven of the 12 shots against him over the first two quarters, but his struggles in the second half allowed the Wolverines to push ahead and win.

The loss continued Maryland’s recent skid after a perfect February, spoiling the Terps’ excellent start as another difficult test looms next weekend at No. 5 Penn State.