Some old hands made the debut of Maryland Lacrosse Coach Dino Mattessich a successful one as the Terps edged North Carolina State, 9-8, yesterday at chilly Byrd Stadium.

Senior John Thompson scored three goals and Pete Worstell, also a senior, scored two and added an assist in helping Maryland battle from a three-goal deficit. Freshman goalie Kevin O'Leary recorded his first collegiate victory.

The Wolfpack scored three goals within the first 3 1/2 minutes before Maryland got its first possession. When John Swerdloff zipped a shot past O'Leary for the 3-0 State lead, the Terps appeared to be in serious trouble.

Not so. "We're not a fast-starting team," Mattessich said. "In every scrimmage we fell two or three goals behind. I wasn't too concerned. I felt that as long as we could control the ball and get some shots, we'd be in there."

Mattessich, an assistant last season under Bud Beardmore, knows his team. Goals by Thompson and John Ebmeier, sandwiched around a score by State's Lance Johnson, cut the Wolfpack lead to 4-2 after the first period.

Maryland trailed only by one at halftime as Thompson's unassisted shorthanded goal with 8:24 left in the second quarter made it 4-3.

The Terps owned the third quarter, outscoring the Wolfpack, 3-1, while taking 20 shots to 10 for State. Swerdloff scored first, with 12:29 left, but three Maryland goals in three minutes, the last by Worstell with 9:14 remaining, gave the Terps a 6-5 lead after three quarters.

The Maryland binge didn't end there. Now in complete command, the Terps scored three unanswered goals at the start of the final quarter to go ahead, 9-5, with 8:06 to play. But it wasn't over. State finished as it started with three consecutive goals.

O'Leary and teammates successfully protected the one-goal lead over the final 1:54, despite repeated threats by the Wolfpack. With 15 seconds left, O'Leary made a big save on a shot by Ben Lamon, and after another shot went wide of the goal, Maryland kept the ball tied up until time expired.