Meghan Ball received a yellow card after committing a foul on an Ohio State attacker. The infraction put the Buckeyes a player-up for two minutes in the fourth quarter.

Ohio State passed the ball in the attacking zone, looking for an angle to shoot. Maryland goalie Emily Sterling stopped it, stepping out of her crease to pick up a ground ball.

The Terps killed the remainder of the penalty, ending any chance of an Ohio State score.

“That was awesome,” coach Cathy Reese said. “It was kind of an unfortunate play the way that that shook out, but proud of how our defense responded.”

No. 3 Maryland women’s lacrosse used another strong defensive effort to defeat Ohio State, 12-6, in its Big Ten opener Saturday. The Terps, who have lost just one conference opener since their move to the Big Ten, extended their streak in Columbus.

Ohio State (6-3, 0-2 Big Ten) ranked second in the conference in goals per game entering the day, averaging 15 scores. But in similar fashion to earlier games this year, Maryland’s (7-1, 1-0 Big Ten) defense — which concedes seven goals a game on average — led the way.

Maryland prevented Jamie Lasda, the Buckeyes’ leading scorer, from tallying in the first half. The senior didn’t register a shot until the second quarter, and Ohio State put just two shots on frame in the opening period. Maryland goalie Emily Sterling made two saves to keep the Buckeyes scoreless through one quarter.

[Maryland women’s lacrosse’s offense flashed its potential in win over James Madison ]

Only two Ohio State players beat Sterling in the first half. Attacker Kate Tyack scored two minutes into the second quarter, and Leah Sax cashed in on a free position shot for the second Buckeye goal of the half.

Maryland’s attack was kickstarted by Eloise Clevenger, who entered the contest leading the Terps in assists. That was a trend that continued early against Ohio State. Clevenger recorded two helpers on Maryland’s first two goals, including an impressive find for her second assist.

Already supplying Chrissy Thomas with an assist, Clevenger caught a pass at the top of the eight-meter arc. Libby May cut towards the goal and Clevenger fit the ball into a tight window. May caught the pass and fired low for her 15th score of the season.

The Terps added two more after May’s score — one from Kori Edmondson and another from Victoria Hensh — to open the game on a four-goal scoring run.

But Maryland failed to score in the second quarter, allowing Ohio State to cut a four-goal deficit to two at halftime. The Terps put three shots on goal and couldn’t convert a player-up opportunity in the scoreless period.

“We just want to work to put the game away within a full 60 minutes, and not just to have one or two good quarters,” Reese said.

Midfielder Shaylan Ahearn ended an 18-minute goalless drought for Maryland shortly after the break. Less than a minute later, Edmondson beat Ohio State goalie Regan Alexander for a score of her own.

But the Terps’ attack still struggled.

[Maryland women’s lacrosse is flexible in its free position strategy]

Maryland turned over possession four times, limiting its offensive production. The Terps scored two goals on seven shots in the quarter.

Sax scored again, and Lasda finally tallied for Ohio State. She scored twice to mark a three-goal Buckeyes’ scoring run. But Ohio State’s run of goals ended quickly.

Attacker Hannah Leubekcer scored Maryland’s first free position shot of the game less than a minute into the final period. Edmondson ripped in her third goal of the contest not long after.

The Terps’ defense stifled the Buckeyes’ attack in the final frame. Ohio State scored on another free position shot, its third of the game, for the team’s only goal of the fourth quarter. Maryland forced four shot clock violations throughout the contest in a dominant defensive effort.

“[The defense works] well together,” Leucbecker said, “and that just inspires us on the offensive end. When they come up with huge stops like that, we want to do our part on our end and put it away.

Edmondson and Leubecker both completed their hat tricks in the final frame, and Maisy Clevenger scored her fifth of the season. Their efforts and a dominant defensive performance helped the Terps lead from start to finish.