Midway through the first half of No. 3 Maryland women’s lacrosse’s 13-8 win over No. 15 Penn State on Thursday, Maryland defender Julia Braig carried the ball upfield, trying to complete a clear, but met two Nittany Lions as she crossed midfield.

The double-team forced her to angle toward the sideline. She eventually tried to escape, turning around and throwing a desperation pass across the field to no one in particular, but she had stepped out of bounds before getting rid of the ball, the second of Maryland’s three failed clear attempts in the first half.

Penn State used a combination of heavy pressure on the clear and double teams to stifle the 10th-best offense in the country before halftime, becoming just the second team this season to hold the Terps to fewer than six first-half goals.

“We’re used to putting up 20 goals a game,” attacker Megan Whittle said. “In the first half there was a bit of a lull on the offense. We were getting really good looks, just not quite finishing, or we were forcing it in to the first look, not the best look.”

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Maryland’s only other time scoring so few goals in the opening 30 minutes was against Princeton on April 10 when the team played one of its worst all-around halves of the year, struggling on both ends of the field and trailing 7-4 at intermission.

But against Penn State on home turf, the Terps’ defense was locked down in the first half. It was just the offense that needed adjusting.

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Coach Cathy Reese said she didn’t tell her team’s offense anything complicated at the break, instead simply trying to get them to refocus.

“It’s not crazy lacrosse,” Reese said. “It’s just doing the fundamentals right, and I think we were a little bobbly on our fundamentals. And we talked about it at halftime, of getting back to basics. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel here, we just need to be sharp at what we do.”

Players and coaches said the team moved the ball more quickly on offense by executing on pass plays in the second half.

Attacker Grace Griffin said the team’s mindset was also key in fixing the uncharacteristic offensive struggles.

“We couldn’t let that get to our head, that we had to keep on playing our game, being patient, being confident in how we play, and that helped a lot,” Griffin said. “We just had to focus on us. That’s not like us to struggle sometimes clearing, and we just had to take a deep breath.”

Though the offensive struggles kept the game tighter than the team might have liked, Whittle believes it may be helpful for the team to learn how to win games in a variety of ways as it prepares to defend its conference and national championships next month.

“It was a good, gritty win for us,” Whittle said. “It was a good test and it’s the perfect part of the season where we’re starting to get into the must-win games, and it’s good having really, really great competition for that.”