Brianna Lamoureux picked up a ground ball behind Maryland women’s lacrosse’s goal and tried to pass to Emily Sterling late in the first half. Instead, a Florida attacker reached out and deflected the ball before it got to the Terps’ goalie.

Gators attacker Danielle Pavinelli scooped up the ball while being hit in the head with Lamoureux’s stick. Play halted as the Terps’ defender was penalized for a check to the head — her second yellow card of the game.

The defender watched the rest of the game from the sideline.

Maryland’s defense faltered in the second half without Lamoureux. The Terps were called for four cards against the Gators, repeatedly going a player down on defense. They conceded 11 goals after halftime in Saturday’s overtime loss to Florida.

“Losing Bri in the first half, as one of our top defenders, is tough,” coach Cathy Reese said. “That was just a little adversity that we had to handle and try to figure out.”

[No. 5 Maryland women’s lacrosse falls in overtime to No. 16 Florida, 13-12]

When a player receives a card — either green, yellow or red — they are forced off the field and must serve a timed penalty. This allows the opposing team to have an offensive possession with an extra player.

Gator midfielder Josie Hahn scored her first goal of the season about two minutes into the contest on Florida’s first player-up opportunity as Kori Edmondson sat for two minutes after receiving a yellow card.

Two quarters later, the Gators cashed in again on another player-up chance. Maryland defender Meghan Ball watched from the sidelines after being issued a green card for a violation committed between the restraining lines.

Pavinelli easily cut to the goal as Ball served her penalty. She caught a pass and fired a shot past Sterling to cut into Maryland’s lead during Florida’s seven-goal third quarter.

[No. 5 Maryland women’s lacrosse erupts early, cruises to 14-7 win over Drexel]

“We put that win into Florida’s hands,” Sterling said. “We got a lot of cards that we really didn’t want to commit, we were man down a lot serving those penalties.”

The Terps committing card-worthy offenses continues to be a recurring issue. They earned 11 in their first three games — seven of them coming in an overtime win against Syracuse.

Following that game, Reese voiced her displeasure with the cards. Saint Joseph’s, Drexel and Syracuse totaled five goals on player-up opportunities.

Maryland overcame those issues earlier in the season. But they felt the full force of the repercussions from accumulating green and yellow cards in the second half against the Gators.
“Yellow cards are fouls that are unnecessary and things that we just need to avoid,” Reese said. “Florida, [was] maybe two-for-four on their opportunities … and that’s the difference in the game.”