COLLEGE PARK -- The scene has turned into a weekly routine for Maryland.
The mobbing of the field. The pileup of teammates. The waving of the state flag as the backdrop.
Other than the celebration, nothing seemed ordinary in the No. 4 Terps' 13-12 victory over No. 8 North Carolina before 1,820 yesterday at Byrd Stadium.
Maryland (6-0, 2-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) has had reason to cheer with its three victories over Top 10 opponents, by a combined four goals. More importantly, the Terps ended a 10-game losing streak to the Tar Heels (4-3, 0-1), a streak that extended over five years.
"I've been here for those 10 losses," said coach Dick Edell, whose Terps are off to their best start since 1987. "And I've seen some strange things in this series. That's why we only relax when the game ends."
Strange is an understatement. The game featured two kicked-in goals, an open-net goal in the first 40 seconds, and only one Tar Heel score within 10 yards of the goal in the second half. The Terps were outshot 48-36 overall, and in the second half they didn't score two goals within six minutes of each other.
Maryland freshman Matt Hahn capped the string of unusual events with an around-the-back shot that put the Terps ahead, 13-11, with 2:39 left. The Terps freshmen accounted for five goals, including three by Andrew Whipple.
The Terps once again survived their waiting game.
Scoring on four of its first six possessions, Maryland rolled to a 6-0 lead and held North Carolina without a shot on goal in two extra-man opportunities. Two of the Terps' three goals came off failed clears.
"I think we work best in unsettled situations," said Terps senior Rob Chomo, who had three goals and an assist. "There is something different about this team than others I've played on here. It seems we tend to jump on people and come in mentally focused."
The Tar Heels then chipped away at the six-goal lead slowly, cutting it four times to three goals before the fourth quarter. They rallied on the long-range shots of their midfielders, who produced 10 of their 12 goals.
Over the last three quarters, the Terps' faltering offense allowed North Carolina to come back. Maryland scored on 25 percent of its shots and went scoreless on its final three extra-man opportunities.
With 6:29 left, Mike Maier's 12-yard blast got North Carolina within 12-11. After Hahn scored more than four minutes later, Ousmane Greene converted on the perimeter off a sprint to nip Maryland's lead to 13-12 with 40 seconds left.
Jon Brothers won the ensuing faceoff and the Terps wound down the clock to four seconds. A desperation pass by the Tar Heels' Jason Sanders from midfield to a crowd in front of the Maryland goal failed, and North Carolina lost by a goal for the third time this season.
"We have taken turns making mistakes this year, and it seems we always have one bad quarter," North Carolina coach Dave Klarmann said. "We have a lot of young guys who haven't played in big games. Also, our offense lacks consistency, and some of that has to go back to the coaching."