For Maryland women’s soccer coach Ray Leone, the second half of Wednesday’s 5-3 loss to Navy was a pivotal point in the Terps’ season.

After allowing the Midshipmen to record three goals in the first half, Leone made clear to his team he wanted to see it bounce back. The Terps responded by scoring three times in the second.

But in Sunday’s 5-2 loss to George Mason at Ludwig Field – Maryland’s first to the Patriots in College Park since October of 1994 – Leone’s team was unable to rally after the intermission.

“We weren’t as aggressive [in the first half],” forward Jarena Harmon, who leads Maryland’s offense with six goals, said. “In the second we came out and realized this game is going to keep going whether we fight or not. We were constantly looking for opportunities to change the game.”

For the second time in as many games, the Terps entered the half trailing by three goals. Instead of holding a team meeting in the locker room, Leone kept his team on the field. They stood on the circle as the Patriots jumped up and pumped their fists in the huddle as the final seconds of the intermission ticked off the clock.

When Maryland was able to get on the board for the first time — Harmon deposited the ball in the lower-left corner of the net in the 72st minute — the Terps appeared to gain momentum.

Then, with about 12 minutes remaining in regulation, forward Chelsea Jackson scored to make it a one-goal contest. But for Maryland, it was too late.

“When they made it 3-2, that was probably a time when we really could have tensed up,” Patriots coach Todd Bramble said. “But we responded, and that was probably one of the two things I’m most proud of tonight.”

Again, a slow start plagued the Terps.

Facing a George Mason backline that had allowed two goals in each of its past four halves, Maryland took only three shots in the first and struggled to maintain possession.

And against a Maryland backline that is without midfielder Natasha Ntone-Kouo, who will be sidelined for the remainder of the year with a knee injury, the Patriots scored three goals in a span of seven minutes. It marked the third time this season they’ve tallied three scores in a half.

“We’ve been letting up goals in key moments,” Leone said. “We have to score first or at least be within a goal at halftime, but we haven’t been like that for two games in a row, so that has to be the first priority.”

In the 21st minute, Patriots forward Alex Myers deposited the ball into the lower-left corner of the net from about 18 yards out on the left side to give George Mason a one-goal advantage.

About two minutes later, forward Erin Mitchell headed the ball into the net after fielding a pass from the far side. And with about 17 minutes remaining in the first, forward Sarah Hardison headed the ball into the net off of a corner kick to give George Mason a three-goal edge entering the intermission.

While the Terps scored their only goals of the night in a span of about six minutes, the Patriots were quick to go on another spurt. In the 80th minute, Hardison scored her second goal of the night on a header off of a corner kick.

About four minutes later, Myers tallied her second score from 25 yards out.

“We have a special group, and we’re not going to give up if something were to happen where we gave up a couple of goals in a game,” Terps midfielder Hope Gouterman said. “Being able to keep fighting is something we’ve learned over the last two games especially.”

Maryland was outshot, 15-8, en route to its fourth consecutive loss.

“It’s been a roller coaster of emotions for the kids,” Leone said. “They fought back. Obviously, we have to improve on our overall defending. You can’t let up three goals in a game and expect to win.”