Eight minutes into Saturday’s game against Hofstra, Maryland women’s lacrosse midfielder Erica Evans flipped a sidearm pass inches above midfielder Grace Griffin’s head and out of bounds. Less than a minute later, the Pride found the net and tied the score at 3-3.

But that wouldn’t deter the Terps. Attacker Kali Hartshorn won the next draw control, and midfielder Meghan Siverson scored on the ensuing possession to ignite an 8-0 run that put the game away before halftime.

Maryland’s unusually sloppy play — the team finished with a season-high 18 turnovers — could have kept Hofstra in the game. The Terps’ dominance on draw controls ensured that wouldn’t happen, carrying them to a commanding 17-9 win.

“I thought we did a nice job on the draw circle,” coach Cathy Reese said. “It’s tough to come up here.”

[Read more: First-half run propels No. 2 Maryland women’s lacrosse past Hofstra, 17-9]

Through its first four games, Maryland averaged 8.75 turnovers, good for first in the Big Ten. The Terps had some miscues against George Mason and UMBC, but nothing as drastic as against the Pride.

Despite its carelessness with the ball, Maryland managed to stay in the game thanks to hustle in 50/50 situations. Indeed, the Terps dominated on draw control, beating Hofstra 17-10 behind strong efforts from Hartshorn and defender Lizzie Colson.

“Controlling the draw is always a really big part of the game,” Colson said. “Today it worked because me and Kali were always talking a lot off the draw.”

The Terps set the tone from the opening draw. Hartshorn faced off against Darcie Smith and flipped the ball toward the Maryland side of the field. Colson and Hartshorn dove for the loose ball, with the latter emerging victorious and initiating a quick attack for the Terps. Evans scored off a set play to give Maryland a 1-0 lead.

Maryland wasn’t done there. It controlled the next three draws, with the last setting up a goal for Griffin that made the score 3-1.

[Read more: Despite a flurry of substitutions, Maryland women’s lacrosse’s defense stood tall vs. UMBC]

After Hofstra tied the game, the Terps locked in at the draw circle once again. They won three more draw controls for three consecutive goals, igniting the offense.

“We were just focusing on the next play. We had moments when we did that and it was when we were successful,” Griffin said.

After a strong first 30 minutes, the Terps came out slower in the second half. Maryland turned the ball over on two of its first three possessions and allowed two goals in quick succession.

However, a renewed effort on draws brought the Terps stability.

With 24 minutes remaining, midfielder Jen Giles fought off two opponents for a loose ball off a draw and started a Maryland attack. After two failed free position attempts, Siverson took matters into her own hands and finished while driving to the cage. The Terps never looked back.

“Coach didn’t want us to focus on Hofstra,” Griffin said. “She wanted to focus on being excellent at all times.”

Despite struggling to consistently string possessions together in the frigid Hempstead rain, the Terps rode their draw controls to victory.

And despite her early turnover, Evans finished the game with three ground balls, three goals an assist. She made up for her team-high four turnovers by finding other ways to win. On Saturday, the team as a whole did the same.

“It doesn’t matter who we’re playing,” Griffin said. “We’re going to give our best at all times.”