Northwestern attacker Madison Taylor held the ball in her stick at the top of the eight-meter mark. She drew Maryland defender Aiden Peduzzi, but wouldn’t be stopped.

Taylor dodged to her right, creating just enough space to fling a high shot at Terps’ goalie Emily Sterling’s near post. The ball blazed past Sterling into the back of the net. It was Taylor’s second goal in a one-minute span early in the second half, helping extend the Wildcats’ advantage early in the third quarter.

Coach Cathy Reese’s squad entered halftime with a small deficit. But No. 1 Northwestern used a seven-goal run midway through the game to defeat No. 2 Maryland, 17-9, on Saturday at a sold-out Maryland Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex. It was Reese’s first-ever home conference loss after 18 years as the Terps’ head coach.

The Terps conceded their highest goal tally this season. Maryland (10-3, 3-1 Big Ten) lost its third straight to Northwestern (11-2, 3-1 Big Ten), the reigning national champions.

“It was a tough night for us, credit to Northwestern,” Reese said. “They came out and played hard and fought hard for the whole game, and outworked us all over the field tonight.”

[The Q-Collar gives two Maryland women’s lacrosse players an extra layer of protection]

The Terps defense couldn’t contain Wildcats attackers Izzy Scane and Taylor, who accounted for 45 percent of their team’s goals entering the contest. Maryland’s back line allows the second-fewest scores per game, but faced an attack averaging almost 18 goals.

Taylor and Scane combined for four of Northwestern’s five first quarter goals. Scane started the scoring in the second quarter, completing her hat trick less than two minutes into the period.

Maryland’s attack ranked second in the conference, but averaged almost four goals less than the Wildcats’ potent offense. The Terps produced six less shots in the first quarter, yet were much more efficient with them.

Maryland scored four goals on five attempts with all coming from different attackers in the opening quarter. Neither team’s lead surpassed one goal in the period.

But turnovers hindered the Terps’ offense output. They committed 12 turnovers in the first half, nine being uncaused. Maryland scored just once in the second quarter after a four-goal first.

“What just happened out there was completely us doing it to ourselves,” midfielder Shaylan Ahearn said. “It wasn’t anything that they were doing in particular, it was just that hesitancy that we were playing with.”

[Eloise Clevenger’s dual-threat ability has unlocked Maryland women’s lacrosse’s offense]

Despite a stark difference in turnovers and shots — Maryland turned it over seven more times and tallied 11 less shots — the Terps only trailed by three at halftime. Goalie Emily Sterling made nine saves, limiting Northwestern’s potent goalscoring duo to five scores.

But Taylor and Scane returned to dominance in the second half as the Wildcats grew their lead to a game-high nine goals.

“They were all over the place, they stuck to their game plan,” Reese said. “They shot very well.”

They accounted for Northwestern’s first three goals in the second half. Taylor scored three times during the Wildcats’ run of seven unanswered as Maryland’s mid-game scoring lull continued.

The Terps scored once in the third with May cashing in for her second. They went 16 minutes without a goal between the second and third quarters while Northwestern continued to pile on. The Terps ended the game with a season-high 22 turnovers, and just four second half goals.

The Wildcats’ leading duo finished with 12 goals to beat the Terps and end Reese’s historic streak.

“Another emphasis of our season has been one moment at a time,” Sterling said. “Today it was our opportunity and we missed that opportunity. So now it’s just time for that next opportunity which is [Johns] Hopkins.”