When Maryland women’s lacrosse midfielder Hannah Warther lined up for a free position opportunity midway through the second overtime against Syracuse, she didn’t look toward the goal — even though a score would end the game.

Instead, with attackers Kali Hartshorn and Brindi Griffin stacked on the left side of the crease, Warther opted to pass. Griffin provided a screen to block out midfielder Grace Fahey and Hartshorn received the feed, bolting in front of the net and firing home for the golden-goal victory.

It was emblematic of the Terps’ performance Saturday. In a game with few clear-cut opportunities for either team to pull away, Maryland delivered in big moments to survive a tense matchup against another top-five opponent.

“We struggled a little bit, we had our ups and downs,” coach Cathy Reese said. “But [I’m] proud of the way we rebounded.”

[Read more: No. 2 Maryland women’s lacrosse beats No. 4 Syracuse in double overtime, 12-11]

Despite shooting woes and concerning turnover numbers, Maryland grinded out a win. The Terps hustled for loose balls, dominated on draw controls and forced important defensive stops. And although the Terps gave the ball away 18 times, Reese’s squad managed to stick around — and then win — in another tense matchup.

“We’re all veteran players at this point,” Hartshorn said. “It’s just … clearing your head and putting the ball in the back of the net.”

Attacker Caroline Steele, dealing with a knee injury, exhibited the hustle that made a difference Saturday. With the Terps leading 5-4 with three minutes remaining in the first half, the senior trapped Syracuse goalkeeper Asa Goldstock in the back corner of the field, knocked the ball away and dove to claim it for the Terps.

Although it did not yield a goal, the aggressive play set the tone for the rest of the game.

“It was nice to have her back on the field and in the mix,” Reese said.

[Read more: Maryland women’s lacrosse is using its week off to get ready for more top-10 foes]

After entering halftime down by one point, Maryland found renewed energy in the second period. In response to Syracuse’s physical style, the Terps moved the ball quickly and attacked the goal earlier in the shot clock.

Positive results followed, and Maryland turned a one-goal deficit to a two-goal lead within the first 10 minutes of the half.

“We needed to come out in the second half with more of a purpose,” Reese said. “The next piece was to … have some fun playing lacrosse.”

The Terps appeared revitalized on both ends of the field for the final 30 minutes. After a hot start to the period, both offenses cooled down considerably, and the contest shifted to a defensive duel. But Maryland was prepared for that battle, too.

With four minutes remaining, the Terps leaned on goalkeeper Megan Taylor to keep them in the game. Syracuse attacker Megan Carney drove from behind the goal and attempted to sling a shot through Taylor’s legs. From close range, the senior made an instinctive block that the Terps recovered.

She repeated the feat twice more in regular time, and had 12 saves on the day while holding the Orange to 41 percent shooting.

“I truly believe I play with the best defenders in the country in front of me,” Taylor said. “They were forcing shots that I knew I could save.”

After Taylor’s saves, Maryland held its ground and prevented any clear looks for the final minutes of regulation and the first overtime.

On the other end, they continued to plug away and provided a moment of magic when they needed it most.

“When you’re asking me what I’m learning about my team,” Reese said, “we got something special.”