No. 6 Maryland men’s lacrosse nearly secured comeback wins in all three of its losses this season.

The Terps held a one-goal lead with less than three minutes left against No. 15 Michigan. They were within two scores of No. 2 Virginia with 11 minutes left. They trailed No. 1 Notre Dame by three with more than nine minutes remaining. Those games each ended in a loss.

Maryland was in a familiar hole against No. 8 Penn State on Sunday. It slowly chipped away at its five-goal first-half deficit and entered the fourth quarter down three.

To avoid the first three-game losing streak in coach John Tillman’s tenure, the Terps needed to mount a comeback victory, a feat they’ve come close to multiple times this year but couldn’t fully attain.

Maryland completed the coup on Sunday, outscoring the Nittany Lions 6-1 in the final period to claim the win, 13-11.

“We just kept talking about, ‘Make the next play, forget the score, forget the scoreboard, you can’t get it back all at once anyway.’” Tillman said. “‘Let’s just make the next play.’”

The Terps made an immediate push for their comeback from the opening faceoff of the fourth quarter. All-American Luke Wierman won the first five chances of the period at the X to jumpstart Maryland.

[No. 12 Maryland men’s lacrosse overcomes early deficit to beat No. 4 Penn State, 13-11]

Trailing by three, Jack McDonald scooped up the loose ground ball on the first faceoff, crossed midfield and found a wide open Jack Koras. Koras took a couple steps and sent a low strike for a goal.

Koras, starting the next possession on the wing, picked up the ground ball on the faceoff. Not a single Nittany Lion ran with Koras as he raced across midfield. He fed to Wierman before receiving a pass right back, firing a bouncer into the back of the net.

Koras said pushing the ball from faceoffs helped the offense in the second half. He told Tillman during the week to use him more as a wing, believing it could be beneficial.

Both of Koras’ fourth-quarter goals — just 13 seconds after the win at the X each time — came with the midfielder at the wing.

Daniel Maltz tied the game with just over 11 minutes remaining. Maryland passed the ball to the opposite side of the field multiple times on the possession to lead to the score. Zach Whittier, charging around the back of the cage, influenced Penn State’s defense to leave Maltz open for an instantaneous goal.

“Once the ball got moving, I thought we did better,” Tillman said.

[Maryland men’s lacrosse’s roster is filled with versatile players]

Maltz saw a loose ground ball on the ensuing faceoff near the cage. He scooped it up, turned and fired a low-angled shot past goalkeeper Jack Fracyon for the Terps’ first lead of the game.

A violation at the X gave Maryland the next possession. Maltz’s initial shot was saved. Maryland’s offense calmly reset. Braden Erksa contorted his body to send a bouncer into the net. He pounded his chest in celebration.

A three-goal deficit turned into a two-goal lead in less than five minutes.

The Terps’ mentality entering the fourth quarter was to chip away at their deficit, Koras said.

“A lot of teams probably could have given up in the situation we were in earlier in the game,” Koras said. “But we stuck together and fought through.”

Maryland was on the verge of falling to the bottom of the Big Ten standings. Its perfect February nearly turned into a catastrophic March — narrowly avoiding a 1-4 record in the month.

Instead, the late push gave the Terps their fifth ranked win this season. The comeback avoided Maryland’s first start worse than 6-3 in Tillman’s tenure.

“In recent games, we cut it to two, but we couldn’t get it to one,” Koras said. “This game, we did, and then, eventually, we got the lead. It was just awesome to see the fight we had and know we didn’t give up.”