The Maryland field hockey team returned from halftime Saturday afternoon locked in a 1-1 tie with Rutgers. But it didn’t take long for the Terps to bury the Scarlet Knights’ chances for an upset victory.

The Terps scored 11 seconds into the period. Rutgers didn’t touch the ball before forward Welma Luus opened a 2-1 lead with a hard shot from the middle of the circle.

Forward Sophie Pelzer earned the assist on that goal and notched another about six minutes later when midfielder Kelee Lepage finished Pelzer’s cross. The sequence helped Maryland earn a 4-2 victory at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex to claim its third consecutive Big Ten regular-season championship.

“Halftime was good to have,” coach Missy Meharg said. “I just said, ‘Whatever that team was just out there right now, let’s just pretend we don’t know them.'”

About seven minutes into the first half, Rutgers took a 1-0 lead. So as they’ve done several times this season, the Terps played from behind.

The Scarlet Knights capitalized on their most sustained attack of the first half to score the goal on a cross from midfielder Alyssa Bull to forward Rachel Yaney on the far post. Yaney maneuvered around midfielder Linnea Gonzales and finished past goalkeeper Sarah Bates.

“They came out very fiery and got on the board first and put a lot of pressure on us, mentally,” Meharg said.

Maryland equalized in the 12th minute on the first penalty corner of the game. Defender Carrie Hanks scored after a behind-the-back pass from Grace Balsdon, who has scored 12 times off the penalty looks as the team’s primary corner option.

The Terps didn’t score on their ensuing 10 shots in the half. Rutgers, meanwhile, didn’t take another shot before the break after its early goal. Goalkeeper Shevaun Hayes kept the Scarlet Knights in the game with seven saves, but goalkeeper Amanda Lamb replaced her at halftime.

“The first half, we kind of had some stuff to work on,” forward Emma Rissinger said. “They were easy fixes, so it was kind of easy for us to … execute them in the second half.”

The Terps released an onslaught of pressure to start the second half, starting with a back pass to Balsdon, who lifted an aerial throw over the Rutgers defense to Pelzer, streaking down the middle of the field.

Pelzer passed to Luus, and after her initial attempt shot found the back of the cage, the Terps had a lead they never relinquished.

“That showed us that we can score the goals. I mean obviously, it took [11] seconds,” Rissinger said. “[It showed] them how we were going to play in the second half.”

Midfielder Madison Maguire scored the Terps’ fourth and final goal in the 48th minute.

Three of Rutgers’ four second-half shots came after Maguire secured a 4-1 lead. Overall, Maryland outshot the Scarlet Knights, 22-5.

“We were just so connected in the second half, everyone came out firing,” Luus said.

Meharg inserted the team’s reserves in the second half, so the team’s seniors relished the final moments of their Senior Day while watching the young players cap another conference championship.

“I like to see them raise the trophy and put hats and t-shirts on,” Meharg said, “and represent Maryland as Big Ten regular-season champions.”