Maryland entered Sunday’s Big Ten Tournament final against Penn State on a 10-game win streak, which began Sept. 30. The Terps had not dropped a game at home this year.

After the final whistle, though, Penn State lifted the Big Ten Tournament championship trophy at midfield of the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex in College Park. The Nittany Lions scored two quick goals after halftime in the 2-1 win.

“You need to have a mindset,” coach Missy Meharg said. “You need to start in a way that dictates, and we were not in that place in the opening 5-10 minutes in the second half and that hurt us.”

Penn State had the game’s early opportunities, taking three dangerous shots in the first six minutes before the Terps earned a shot of their own.

After that, though, Maryland’s defense settled down. Penn State attackers had easily weaved around defenders and freed up space to have their looks at goal early, but for the rest of the half they struggled to evade tackles or advance into the circle.

“Overall, though, I was really pleased with our defensive structure and our maturity in the backfield,” Meharg said. “We always had cover [dealing] with a really fast attacking unit.”

After a lot of high-intensity, back-and-forth play, which Meharg called “choppy” in an interview on Big Ten Network, the game’s first goal was unconventional.

Forward Welma Luus drove down the baseline and tried to strike the ball hard near the net, but instead had it deflected high into the air across the face of the goal

Penn State took over at the beginning of the second half, though, scoring two quick goals and earning a lead it would carry to the Big Ten tournament championship.

“Maryland sat back a bit and were kind of observing the situation,” Meharg said. “We were in our own heads and kind of reading things a little bit.”

The Nittany Lions had their first penalty corner of the game just 30 seconds into the second period and converted it to tie the game. The tie didn’t last long. They scored about seven minutes later to take a 2-1 lead.

Maryland had chances down the stretch, but failed to capitalize. It earned its only corner of the second half in the 58th minute, but the Terps couldn’t get a shot from it.

“That was definitely a focus for us, to get penalty corners or deflections inside,” midfielder Lein Holsboer said. “[But] Penn State did a really good job putting pressure on us.”

Later, Rissinger nearly scored her second goal of the game as she made a backdoor cut and received a long pass from defender Carrie Hanks. Still, the redshirt senior forward could barely make contact with it and tapped the ball out of bounds.

Maryland played the final six minutes with an empty net, and the final 93 seconds with an extra player advantage due to a Penn State yellow card.

Forward Sophie Pelzer took advantage of those numbers, putting a shot on goal with less than a minute left, but it was cleared off the line by a Nittany Lion defender.

“In the last number of minutes we were pretty potent, but a little bit too late,” Meharg said.

Penn State ran off the rest of the clock to become Big Ten tournament champions.

“Of course, this hurts a lot,” Luus said, “but we’re just going to move forward.”