After a sloppy start in its matchup at Hofstra, the Maryland women’s lacrosse team needed a spark to open up a lead. With 19 minutes remaining in the first half, midfielder Erica Evans picked up an errant pass and surveyed the open field.

Without a clear option to pass to, the graduate transfer surged downfield. Still wide open, Evans finished past Jess Smith to extend the Terps’ lead to three goals.

It was one of few moments of individual brilliance in a scrappy game in Long Island.

Despite turnover difficulties, Maryland leaned on an 8-1 first-half run and a cerebral second-half performance to dispatch Hofstra 17-9.

“It was one of those games with ups and downs,” coach Cathy Reese said. “But we were able to rebound in a couple areas.”

The Terps set the offensive tone early. Evans found herself in isolation to open the game, and went to work on the Pride defense. She deftly faked left and quickly accelerated right before finishing from close range to open the scoring.

Maryland’s defense also started the game strong. On Hofstra’s first possession of the day, the Terps forced a turnover and attacked in transition. Midfielder Grace Griffin benefitted from the defensive stop, taking on two defenders, sneaking into open space, and firing one in from just outside the crease.

Hofstra had an answer to the Terps fast start. Midfielder Alyssa Parrella, the Pride’s leading scorer, beat defender Julia Braig one-on-one to cut the lead back to 2-1.

Griffin scored again to go up 3-1, but consecutive Hofstra goals tied the game at 3-3.

After that, Maryland woke up. The Terps closed the half on an 8-1 run. They clamped down on Parrella, preventing her any clear looks. She picked up a second yellow card with about seven minutes before halftime, earning her an ejection. During the run, the Terps forced six Hofstra turnovers, and allowed only one shot on cage.

Meanwhile, the offense rolled. Griffin added another to complete a first half hat-trick. Attacker Brindi Griffin scored two. And, crucially, the tandem of attacker Kali Hartshorn and defender Lizzie Colson dominated the draw.

“We were working on focusing on the next play,” Colson said. “Thinking about what we’re going to do better next time.”

The Terps allowed a fourth goal of the half with about four minutes remaining, as Mattera fired a hard shot past goalkeeper Megan Taylor.

Were it not for other big stops from Taylor, however, the game would have been worse.

After back-to-back turnovers from the Terps, Hofstra generated two clear looks on goal. Taylor had an answer for both, deflecting one shot onto the post and snagging another going across her body. The saves protected a comfortable 11-4 halftime lead.

Maryland started the second half slowly, allowing two quick Hofstra goals after an early score from Evans.

Midfielder Meghan Siverson eased the nerves.

With 10 seconds remaining on the shot clock, Siverson picked up a loose ball and drove into the heart of the Pride defense. After building up steam, she fired a hard shot into the bottom corner to restore a seven-goal lead.

Grace Griffin added another just 10 seconds later for the Terps’ largest lead of the day with 21 minutes remaining.

“Lacrosse is a game of runs,” Griffin said. “So you have to make sure that when things don’t go your way you focus on the things you can control.”

With an eight-goal advantage, Reese started to rotate the squad. Maddie McSally took over in goal, Hannah Glaros checked in at attacker and Julia Hoffman continued to see playing time.

For the ensuing five minutes, the Terps played defense. Hofstra pressured the Terps relentlessly, trying to force the ball inside. However, Maryland had an answer for every Pride push. McSally registered her first save as a Terp and the defense fouled at the right times to blank the home team for five minutes.

Hofstra pulled another goal back with 11 minutes remaining as the Terps continued to be pushed back into their own defensive third. But after allowing the Pride to pull within 15-9 with 8:23 remaining, Maryland locked back down, and a couple late goals gave the Terps a 17-9 win, using the big first-half run to overcome the slow start and mediocre second half.

“To come away with two road wins in a week is huge,” Reese said. “Now we get five days until we play and prepare to welcome another top-five opponent to College Park.”