Daniel Maltz attracted Johns Hopkins’ defense’s attention midway through the third quarter, with the Terps in search of just their fifth goal of the day. Defender Beaudan Szuluk rotated away from the cage, leaving George Stamos open.

Stamos received Maltz’s pass and fired a rocket into the net. It trimmed Maryland men’s lacrosse’s deficit to one with over 23 minutes remaining.

That was the Terps’ final goal on Saturday. Their offense struggled mightily against the Blue Jays, posting the fewest scores of the season in their most important game this year. Maryland lost to its in-state rival, 7-5.

The Terps’ offense was dismal despite a chance to clinch a share of the Big Ten regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.

“I felt like at times we just got a little antsy and needed to take what they gave us,” coach John Tillman said. “I felt like we were playing slow at times. The ball was dying in sticks.”

Maryland’s season-low five goals against Johns Hopkins included a scoreless fourth quarter. The Terps shot at just 15.2 percent and less than half of their attempts were on goal, making both marks season lows.

[Maryland men’s lacrosse turns in season-low scoring output in 7-5 loss to Johns Hopkins]

Their offensive efficiency, calculated by goals per possession, was another season low at a measly 15.6 percent, according to Lacrosse Reference.

Maryland’s troubles started from the opening faceoff. Its first four possessions featured three missed shots and three turnovers, none caused by the Blue Jays. Johns Hopkins’ physicality then became apparent, seemingly wearing the Terps down.

As Braden Erksa’s first attempt missed wide of the cage, Carson Brown blasted the attacker with heavy contact to his upper body. The officials ruled Brown’s hit as an illegal body check.

Maltz turned the ball over on Maryland’s first possession of the second quarter to end a man-up opportunity. Szuluk charged him with his stick, pushing Maltz off balance to jolt the ball loose. Brandon Aviles slapped Eric Spanos’ stick, causing another turnover three minutes later.

A Hopkins defender drilled a blow to Jack McDonald after a shot, shortly after Spanos’ miscue. Daniel Kelly faced strong contact late after his shot on the Terps’ next possession.

“They got us out of our comfort zone a little bit,” Kelly said.

[A grueling injury recovery set up Eric Malever’s success at Maryland men’s lacrosse]

Maryland’s first turnover of the third quarter came when Jakson Raposo defended Ryan Siracusa tight, using contact to free the ball from Siracusa’s stick. The Blue Jays disrupted Siracusa again in the fourth quarter, pushing him away from the cage to force a challenging off-balanced look on his only attempt in the frame.

The Terps’ offense was horrid in the final period when they needed scoring most. They recorded four turnovers before even registering a shot. Johns Hopkins didn’t cause any of the giveaways as Maryland didn’t attempt a shot in the first nine minutes of the fourth quarter.

The scoreless fourth was one of three scoring droughts lasting over 10 minutes on Saturday.

“I think it was hard for us to get into a flow at times,” Kelly said.

Maryland doesn’t play again until May 2. Its spot in the Big Ten semifinals is already secured with its bye in the Big Ten quarterfinals. The break allows the coaches to adjust their offense, which Tillman acknowledged needs improvement.

“Our execution obviously wasn’t where we wanted it to be,” Tillman said. “[We] have some time to look at all aspects and figure out ‘Hey, is there a way we can do it better?’”