When Minnesota midfielder Megan Koenig powered a shot into the upper-left corner in the 11th minute on Sunday, the Maryland women's soccer team fell victim to the same fate for the third consecutive contest — a 2-0 deficit in the first half.
In their previous similar instances, the Terps lost, 2-0, to Northwestern and tied No. 12 Wisconsin, 2-2.
Though the Golden Gophers defeated Maryland 3-1, the Terps again displayed their composure.
Despite failing to secure a victory in their past three games, the Terps are gaining confidence from their responses after falling behind.
"We just fight really hard the entire time," said defender Jenna Surdick, who scored the equalizer against Wisconsin. "That's what it's all about, just fighting together, playing our best and playing as a team."
Against the Badgers, midfielder Gi Krstec sparked the second-half comeback with a 45-yard strike, catching the goalkeeper out of position. Surdick then converted off a corner to complete it.
Coach Ray Leone said Krstec's goal provided energy for the Terps. When the team is down by two goals, it wants to get on the board within the next 15 minutes so it can remain competitive.
On Sunday, defender Madison Turner pulled a goal back two minutes after Minnesota's second score, weaving through the Golden Gopher defense before blasting a score from 25 yards away.
Regardless of Sunday's result, Turner said the amount of goals the Terps trail by doesn't matter because they know they're capable of coming back. The Wisconsin game was proof, which she and midfielder Hope Gouterman said fueled more belief in the team.
"Obviously you like to be up or not go down, but it's not the end of the world," Turner said. "You just have to stay calm and come back one goal at a time."
The Terps were especially pleased with their reluctance to fold when considering their result against the Golden Gophers last season. They lost, 6-0.
Midfielder Darby Moore said the Terps "were not going down without a fight" after experiencing that defeat.
"As a team in general, we're pretty good at always keeping our heads up," Moore said. "In previous seasons, I've been with the team, we're kind of — I don't want to say used to getting knocked down — but now it's more like we're not getting knocked down. We never give up fighting and we just carry that mentality throughout."
Leone said the team has been growing since its first loss of the season at Rutgers on Sept. 17. The players' attitudes, body language and beliefs are all getting stronger, he added.
The second-year coach also believes his team has been playing well in their losses, but luck is a major factor of soccer.
"This is all about experiences together because we all have our own separate experiences as players, coaches," Leone said. "The more we have together with Maryland, the more that we can draw upon those experiences."
The players agree with Leone's notion. As Maryland pursues their first postseason spot since 2013, it'll lean on the poise it's shown this season.
"We've come together and we've taken steps forward as opposed to backward," Gouterman said. "That says a lot about the attitude of our team, who we've become and the culture. It's really good."