No. 4 Maryland women’s lacrosse’s once hefty lead evaporated, and the Terps found themselves down two scores with under three minutes remaining.

Attacker Hannah Leubecker netted a free position goal to bring Maryland back within one score of No. 24 Penn State. It kept the Terps alive in a game where Cathy Reese’s team had a chance to clinch at least a share of the Big Ten regular season title.

Attacker Libby May scooped up the ensuing draw control to give the Terps another possession. Leubecker cut toward net with the game-tying goal in her stick, but her shot flashed wide of the post.

Penn State outscored Maryland by five goals in the second half to defeat the Terps, 12-11, at the Maryland Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex on Saturday. Just a week after Reese lost the first home conference game of her 18-year career at Maryland, the Nittany Lions handed her her second.

The Terps (11-4, 4-2 Big Ten) scored just four goals on 20 shots in the second half while an undisciplined gave Penn State nine free position attempts — with six resulting in goals — in that span. The Nittany Lions (8-6, 3-2 Big Ten) defeated Maryland for the second consecutive season.

“We put them on the eight meter more than we’ve ever put anybody on the eight meter,” Reese said. “We don’t typically give up 11 eight meters a game, and that happened today, and we made it tough for us to stop them.”

[Second-half surge sends No. 4 Maryland women’s lacrosse past No. 8 Johns Hopkins, 13-8]

Maryland’s senior class led the way early in its final regular season home game. A senior or graduate student accounted for a goal or an assist on all of the Terps’ first half scores.

May opened the scoring. Leubecker and Chrissy Thomas added two apiece in the opening quarter and Victoria Hensh beat Nittany Lions’ goalie Sydney Manning. Eloise Clevenger tallied two assists alongside Thomas’ one helper in the first 15 minutes.

Penn State’s three scores in the opening quarter came from Gretchen Gilmore and a pair of goals from Kristin O’Neill. Both Gilmore and O’Neill scored from free position shots, with Gilmore’s coming off of an assist from Kara Nealon.

Nealon accounted for the Nittany Lions’ lone first period assist. Penn State ranks last in the Big Ten in assists per game and outside the top 100 nationally.

The Nittany Lions’ offensive pacing is one of the slowest Maryland’s faced this season, also ranking out of the country’s top 100 in offensive quickness, according to Lacrosse Reference.

The Terps’ defense spent almost the entire 90 second shot clock on each possession defending their goal and didn’t allow a score in the second quarter.

Maryland caused five turnovers and gave up just three shots in the quarter, with only one being on frame. The Terps’ defensive efficiency was vital as the Nittany Lions’ attack slowed.

But Maryland’s attack lulled in the second quarter following an opening period where it shot at 60 percent clip.

The Terps went over 13 minutes without scoring and committed five turnovers in the second frame while failing to convert on four free position attempts. Thomas completed a first-half hat trick with a bounce shot, but it was her team’s only goal of the period. Maryland entered halftime with a 7-3 lead.

[Sophie Halus’ quickness spearheads Maryland women’s lacrosse’s push attack]

Leubecker scored her 40th of the season on a free position opportunity in the third quarter, her fourth straight season exceeding that number. It was Maryland’s only score in the third, though, while Penn State reduced the deficit.

“The goalkeeper was really good,” Thomas said. “We just have to be composed and finish those shots, we had a lot of great looks.”

The Nittany Lions’ first four goals of the second half came from free-position shots.

A Penn State player-up score and another free position goal — its fifth of the third quarter — gave the Nittany Lions their first lead of the game with under two minutes remaining in the period.Penn State erased a five goal first-half deficit in the third period, scoring six goals to Maryland’s one.

“We came out on fire,” Reese said. “It was a great start for us … I loved how hard we were attacking. Then we got into a little bit of a funk, a shooting funk. We were getting great looks on cage, had good opportunities, but didn’t finish them and that hurt us.”

Clevenger scored twice in quick succession to tie the game at 10 each after the Nittany Lions opened the fourth quarter’s scoring — but Maryland made just three of its 10 attempts in the fourth, and five of its final 26 shots as the Terps lost for the third time in their last five games.

“We have to turn the corner,” Reese said. “We go on the road Wednesday, we have a tough road game that we need to be able to rebound and come away with.”