No. 1 Maryland women’s lacrosse was in an unfamiliar situation. The Terps trailed at halftime for the first time all season.

The Terps struggled on attack all game against No. 14 Penn. The defending Ivy League champions limited newly top-ranked Maryland to 20 shots, its season low and good for a 13 shot differential.

The lackluster attack prevented the Terps from winning their seventh straight game. Maryland fell to the Quakers, 13-9, at the Maryland Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex on Wednesday.

The Terps’ (9-2) second nonconference defeat marks just the eighth ever home loss under coach Cathy Reese.

“A lot of credit to Penn … I thought their defense played us really well, and caused a lot of turnovers,” Reese said. “And they did a nice job executing on offense.”

[Hannah Leubecker’s scoring surge comes at a perfect time for Maryland women’s lacrosse]

Maryland — averaging almost five goals during the opening frame this season — couldn’t generate the same attack early Wednesday. The Terps had two turnovers on their first two possessions and failed to capitalize on a player-up opportunity due to a crease violation turnover, their third in the first seven minutes.

Maryland’s only production came from player-up opportunities. Kori Edmondson and Hannah Leubecker each tallied while the Terps’ played with an extra player. Their only other score was Leubecker on a free position shot. Her two goals brought her goal total to 30.

Five turnovers followed in the next quarter after four turnovers to start the game. Penn (8-1) entered the game averaging 11 caused turnovers, almost hitting that mark in the first half. Maryland finished with 18.

“There were so many turnovers that we want back,” Leubecker said. “They were unforced, little bumps and checks. Things that we need to adjust to.”

Maryland only managed two second quarter scores from Edmondson and Libby May, helping halt a Penn run of three consecutive scores. Edmondson struck on a player-up opportunity. Three of the Terps’ five goals in the first half came on a player-up advantage.

As Maryland’s attack struggled to break through, the Quakers fared better against Terps’ goalie Emily Sterling and her defense.

Anna Brandt scored the first goal of the contest, beating Sterling with a shot bouncing just in front of the goal line. She scored later in the quarter alongside Julia Chai.

[Hannah Leubecker’s season-best six goals lift Maryland women’s lacrosse over Rutgers, 13-8]

Penn’s attack looked to beat Sterling on bounce shots, and it succeeded.

Niki Miles, the Quaker’s leading scorer, found the net similarly to how Brandt did in the first quarter. Miles dodged to her right and bounced a shot off of the carpet, which ricocheted up just under the crossbar and into the net.

Brandt finished off a first half hat trick and Gracie Smith contributed to the three-goal Quaker run midway through the second quarter. Catherine Berkery capped off a seven-goal half for Penn, which led 7-5 and was the first team all season to lead the Terps at halftime.

The Quakers’ stifling defense limited Maryland to another low-scoring period after the break.

Maggie Weisman cashed in a free position shot, and Leubecker later dodged to her left to shoot past Penn goalie Kelly Van Hoesen. The Terps’ low scoring mark saw Penn extend its largest lead in the game.

“Penn is a team that just has a really strong, solid defense,” Reese said. “And we did not step up and handle the pressure. With 18 turnovers and only generating 20 shots, we just need to do better than that.

Brandt led all scorers with her fourth score and Catherine Berkery, Natasha Gorriaran and Keeley Block each notched their first score of the contest. The Quakers’ lead ballooned to four midway through the third quarter, but Leubecker’s fourth straight hat trick kept Maryland within three.

Another Leubecker score 30 second into the final quarter cut Penn’s lead to two, but the Quakers went on another scoring run. They scored the last three goals of the game to match the most goals the Terps have conceded this season.

“It’s mid-season. There’s a lot of lacrosse [left],” Sterling said. “There’s been a lot of upsets lacrosse the board all year. So, it’s game by game.”

Kori Edmondson kneels on the turf during Maryland women’s lacrosse’s 13-9 loss to Penn on March 27, 2024. (Eric Robinson/The Diamondback)