Libby May flipped a pass to Hannah Leubekcer. Maryland women’s lacrosse’s leading scorer caught the feed and drove into the shooting arc. Princeton was called for a shooting space violation, awarding the graduate student a free position shot.

Leubecker shot from low to high, beating Princeton goalie Amelia Hughes right under the crossbar. The score marked Leubecker’s 206th career goal, moving her up to seventh place in the Terps’ all-time scoring list. It was also the fourth of six straight Maryland goals in the third quarter.

No. 8 Maryland’s lengthy scoring run and stifling defense in the second half propelled it to a win over No. 17 Princeton, 16-12, on Wednesday.

The Terps (12-4) ended the regular season perfect away from College Park with a 9-0 record, beating the Tigers (8-5) for the 17th consecutive time. They now await their first round opponent in the Big Ten tournament, which will be at the Maryland Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex next Saturday.

“Princeton’s tough,” coach Cathy Reese said. “They were really challenging us in a lot of different ways. Shay [Ahearn] did an excellent job on the draw … We just had extra possessions and our offense was executing today.”

Maryland’s attack generated early looks when it played up a player. Princeton defender Caroline Burnett received a green card on the opening draw, and attacker McKenzie Blake picked up a yellow card later in the first quarter.

[Maryland women’s lacrosse’s poor free position defense led to Penn State loss]

Attacker Hannah Leubecker scored the Terps’ first goal of the game. She dodged to her left, unleashing a shot into the net inside the first minute. Attacker Eloise Clevenger benefited on another power play minutes later, her first of two opening period scores.

The offense didn’t slow when playing against a full-strength defense.

Midfielders Kori Edmondson and Shannon Smith tallied goals. Maryland cashed in on its first five shots of the game. The Terps registered a 72 percent shooting percentage in a five-goal first frame.

But for every Maryland score, the Tigers’ attack — a top-15 scoring offense in the nation — responded.

One game after the Terps conceded eight free position goals against Penn State, Princeton scored twice early from eight meters. Attacker Grace Tauckus accounted for two scores as the Tigers matched Maryland’s five goals in the first 15 minutes.

The Terps’ attack subsided in the early parts of the following quarter, a persistent problem that’s plagued Maryland all season. Its scored 27 goals in the second quarter, the lowest goal tally in any of the four quarters of regulation.

Princeton capitalized on the Terps’ inability to score. Blake notched two goals, one coming in a player-down situation, and midfielder Kari Buonanno scored the Tigers’ third free position goal — and her second.

The Terps failed to score on their third player-up opportunity and missed on their only eight meter shot. They endured an almost 13-minute scoring drought. But, Maryland began converting its chances inside the final minutes of the half.

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

Leubecker scored her second of the game and attacker Libby May added her name to the scoresheet to end the dry spell. Attacker Chrissy Thomas’ conversion marked three goals in the last six minutes of the second quarter for the Terps.

No team garnered a lead larger than two goals in the half, and the score was tied, 8-8, after 30 minutes.

The Terps’ flat second-quarter attack was on fire in the third. They won the first four draw controls and all but two in the entire quarter.

Maryland scored six goals — by four different scorers — on nine shots all in a row. Leubecker and Edmondson both completed hat tricks, their eighth and fifth of the season respectively.

Clevenger and Thomas each added a goal in the final quarter, helping contribute to a shooting percentage of 55 percent. It’s just the second time Maryland’s eclipsed 50 percent this season.

“We just really made the decision to put our foot down, to capitalize on our possessions and limit turnovers,” Thomas said. “It paid off.”

The Terps’ defense kept Princeton from scoring in the entire third quarter, conceding only four shots. Defender Neve O’Ferrall caused a turnover and goalie Emily Sterling made one save. The Tigers didn’t score for over 19 minutes, converting their first second-half goal eight minutes into the fourth quarter.

Maryland caused three turnovers as Sterling finished with 12 saves. It’s the first game the Terps won this season after conceding 10 or more goals.

“We’ll figure out who we play first round, and who we host,” Reese said. “Which will be awesome to have a home game on that first round of the Big Ten’s.”