During a three-minute stretch during its season opener against George Mason, the Maryland women’s lacrosse team fired on goal four times — all clear looks, including a free-position attempt. But each try fired wide or found Patriots goalkeeper Melissa Semkiw.

The sequence encapsulated the Terps’ struggles to capitalize on a bevy of chances in front of the net. Despite scoring 33 goals in wins over the Patriots and No. 4 Florida, Maryland required 79 shots to get there. The team now ranks No. 54 in the country in shooting percentage.

As the Terps adapt to a new high-tempo offense, their strong defense has offered some leeway. So, despite opening the campaign with two wins, coach Cathy Reese aims for her offense to become more clinical in the coming weeks, starting with Maryland’s matchup with No. 2 North Carolina on Sunday.

“With shooting, we struggled a fair bit in our last two games,” Reese said. “It’s something we need to do better at.”

[Read more: No. 2 Maryland women’s lacrosse used a dominant second half to dismantle No. 4 Florida]

Based on the results, the Terps have been faring well. They’re 2-0 with a scoring margin of plus-eight, and there have been signs that Reese’s philosophy is taking hold as fast ball movement opens opportunities.

However, despite leading the Big Ten with 39.5 shots per game, Maryland ranks second-worst in the conference in shot percentage (41.8). While putting shots on target is the first hurdle for an offense, the quality of those efforts matters. And at times against George Mason, Reese felt her team forced shots.

“Offensively, I thought we had some good looks,” she said after. “We forced the ball a few [too] many times, and I wouldn’t like that.”

[Read more: No. 2 Maryland women’s lacrosse tops No. 4 Florida, 17-12, for Cathy Reese’s 250th win]

After the graduation of attacker Megan Whittle, who scored 298 goals during her four years in College Park, the Terps have used their skillful midfield to push the pace and open transition opportunities.

Attacker Caroline Steele, who was the second highest scorer during Whittle’s final season, wasn’t worried about replacing her production entering the campaign.

“Whittle was a great goal scorer and a great lacrosse player all around,” Steele said, “but we’re trying to focus on what we have here.”

What Maryland does have is a dominant offensive weapon in the form of midfielder Jen Giles. She has scored nine goals through two games while shooting 60 percent. She has also contributed two assists and five ground balls.

Beyond Giles, the shooting is less consistent. Steele is shooting 41 percent and attacker Kali Hartshorn is at 50 percent. They have taken a combined 31 shots and have contributed seven goals apiece.

Both have been serviceable, but the Terps will likely need more efficiency from their second- and third-leading scorers, especially as they start playing stronger defensive teams.

“When we go out there we want defense, midfield and attack to play all as one,” Hartshorn said. “We need to focus on all three parts.”

During a 15-minute scoring drought in the first half of Maryland’s win over Florida, the team attempted five shots but couldn’t break through. In that time, the Gators slotted home four goals to draw within one. But the Terps rebounded with 10 second-half goals to secure a top-5 win.

The outing showed promise that Maryland’s offensive rhythm is coming, despite Reese’s misgivings regarding its efficiency. Against another top-5 foe in North Carolina, the team may need to take advantage of the opportunities it gets.

“For the next couple of days of practice we need to get better,” Reese said, “so we’re ready to compete on Sunday.”