Stanford missed a penalty kick with just over four minutes to play, and then gave up a game-tying goal less than a minute later.
The Cardinal men's soccer team finished in a 3-3 tie with second-ranked Maryland in the season opener for both teams on Friday night.
"It was an incredible, incredible game, the kind you hope to see at the end of the season in postseason knockout play," Stanford coach Jeremy Gunn said. "Both teams were so attack-minded, so committed to the game that it was an absolute roller coaster. But we played some great attacking soccer, took some great chances. We kept Maryland fairly quiet in the run of play but gave up some set-piece goals. We could critique all the little things but that would be unfair to the players, they left everything out on the pitch tonight."
Forward Zach Batteer scored twice and the Cardinal was the beneficiary of an own goal as Stanford had to feel good about its effort. Drew Hutchins came up with key saves in the late going to hold the line.
Stanford (0-0-1) hosts No. 3 Georgetown at 4 p.m. on Sunday. The match will be televised on the Pac-12 Network. The Hoyas were upset by California, 2-0, on Friday.
Against the Terrapins, Stanford took leads of 2-0 and 3-2 in the contest only to have Maryland, which reached the national semifinal last year, fight its way back.
"Their mental strength is absolutely amazing," Gunn said. "We were electrifying at the beginning of the game and Maryland was shell-shocked because we were asking all the questions, we had them on the back foot a lot. But they got themselves back into the game."
Stanford attacked right from the start against the Terrapins, earning a pair of corner kicks in the opening minutes with JJ Koval's header going high in the third minute.
Five minutes later, the Cardinal pressure paid off. Batteer's blocked shot rebounded out to Aaron Kovar, whose shot towards the goal caught the outstretched leg of Maryland defender Alex Crognale and was redirected into the net for an own goal.
Hutchins came up with a save of a shot from reigning MAC Hermann Trophy winner Patrick Mullins in the 11 minute, but from there the Cardinal got back to pressuring, earning two more corner kicks in the next few minutes.
The Stanford probing was rewarded in the 36th minute with a dazzling display of passing. Jimmy Callinan opened the sequence by fighting his way through the midfield and feeding a ball through to freshman Jordan Morris on the right flank.
Callinan's effort sprung Morris on a 2-on-1 with Batteer and the Cardinal rookie rolled a perfect pass to the edge of the six-yard box where Batteer tapped home to double the Stanford lead.
The goal seemed to stir the Terrapins to action, and five minutes later they halved the lead on a well-executed free kick. Mikey Ambrose served to the far post where Mullins met the ball square on the forehead and deposited it past the near post.
In the second half, the Terrapins earned a Sunny Jane corner kick off which Tshuma Schillo headed it into the far post for the equalizer.
At the hour mark, Batteer latched onto a free ball in his own half and worked his way past four defenders along the right flank, putting the Cardinal back in front with a blast that clipped the hands of Steffens on its way into the net. The goal set up a nervy final half-hour, as Maryland's Jake Pace headed into the crossbar and down off of a 65th-minute corner kick as Brandon Vincent cleared the ball out.
Stanford missed a golden opportunity to ice the match from the spot in the 85th minute, as Koval, after being tripped in the box to earn the spot kick, got Steffens diving the wrong way but hit a piledriver into the crossbar and out.
Maryland responded with its third goal as Pace made the most of his second chance at goal and headed home to the near corner.
Each team had a corner kick go to naught in the first session of extra time but the match took a crucial turn in the 100th minute when Stanford freshman defender Brian Nana-Sinkam was sent off after a physical confrontation with Mullins.
Playing the final session with just 10 men, the Cardinal was bailed out in the first minute of the frame when Hutchins went horizontal to stop a free kick from Tsubaba Endoh. Hutchins preserved the draw in the 110th minute, tipping Mullins' header over the bar and out to snuff out the Terrapins last chance of the match.
"I thought it was exciting stuff from us in every part of the field," Gunn said. "We'll be disappointed in some ways from the tie, having thought we could win the game, but Maryland had good chances as well. You go away as a fan and say you know what, if that's the first game of the season then it should be an exciting year."
United States women's single sculler Eleanor Logan, a Stanford grad, rowed steadily out of fourth place and into third in a grouping that included London double medalist, Kim Crow of Australia, and New Zealand's top female sculler, Emma Twigg on Friday at the World Rowing Championships in Chungju, South Korea.
Logan, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the women's eight, finished third and moved on to the final in her first year in the event.
The U.S. women's four team of Olivia Coffey, Felice Mueller, Tessa Gobbo and Emily Huelskamp won the gold medal after a competitive race.
The U.S. rowed in third out of the first quarter.
The medal was the first of three won by the U.S. on Friday. The lightweight women's quadruple sculls won silver and the lightweight men's eight took bronze.
The lightweight men's four sprinted past the Italians in the final few hundred meters and got to the final for the first time since 2000.
The U.S. Men's Junior National Team rebounded from a slow start in its first playoff match at the FIVB Volleyball Men's Under-21 World Championship on Friday, defeating Egypt, 22-25, 25-21, 25-23, 25-20, in Izmir, Turkey.
The win ensured the United States (3-3) a place in the bracket competing for ninth-12th place. The U.S. will face Serbia (5-1) on Saturday. The U.S. and Serbia previously squared off in pool play, with Serbia coming out on top, 3-0.
The U.S. converted 43.44 percent of its attacks for points while holding Egypt to 35.29 percent. Egypt led in aces (6-5) and had fewer errors (26-34), but the MJNT had the advantage in blocks (13-7).
Stanford sophomore James Shaw scored one point on one block along with two digs and 14 running sets.
The men's four crew of Menlo-Atherton High grad Seth Weil, Michael Gennaro, Henrik Rummel and Grant James finished third in the A final, earning the bronze medal, at the World Rowing Championships in Chunju, South Korea on Saturday.
"We expected to be competitive and race for the medals," Weil said. "We are a pretty new crew so I didn't assume anything before the race.
"We knew we had speed, but we didn't quite execute what we planned," Weil added. "It seemed like we didn't have the next gear in the last quarter of the race. Still it was a great race and all this year was good for us. We are looking forward to racing Dutch and Australians in the coming years."
The United States national team suffered its fourth consecutive loss in the final round of the FIVB Grand Prix in Sapporo, Japan on Saturday, dropping a 19-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-18, 16-14 decision to Italy.
The U.S. opened the season winning 16 of its first 17 matches and are now on a four-match losing streak heading into Sunday's final match against host Japan.
The Americans can finish no higher than a tie for fifth and are the only team without a win in the final round.
Italy saved four match points before winning. The U.S. led for all but the final two points of the fifth set and were ahead, 14-10, when the Italians rallied.
Stanford grad Kristin Richards Hildebrand led the U.S. with 18 kills.