Hofstra's Jenn Ward fights a group of Maryland defenders. (March...

Hofstra's Jenn Ward fights a group of Maryland defenders. (March 4, 2012) Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Third-ranked Maryland was the opponent, but intimidation didn't figure into the game plan for the Hofstra women's lacrosse team. Losing wasn't supposed to be an option, so there were no excuses after the host Pride's 11-4 loss Sunday.

"Seeing 'Maryland' was just a name on the jersey," senior midfielder Lindsay McKinnon said.

Hofstra set out to prove that in the first half, scooping up 11 ground balls to six for the Terrapins. "Our confidence was definitely up," McKinnon said. "We kind of knew if the ball didn't go to one stick, we had somebody behind us to pick it right up. We were winning the ground balls. You could just feel the team [meshing]."

But fouls became Hofstra's undoing in the first half. Jenn Ward gave Hofstra a 1-0 lead 50 seconds into the game, but Maryland (5-1) converted on three free- position shots, which resemble penalty shots in hockey, and led 7-4 at halftime. The Terrapins' Katie Schwarzmann scored all three of her goals in that half.

"We didn't want to give up those eight meters," Hofstra coach Abby Morgan said of the free-position shots fired at goalkeeper Jaclyn Pandolf. "Jackie can see them pretty well sometimes, but when you get them at center hash, it's real tough."

Hofstra (2-3) made adjustments in the second half, cutting down on the fouls and limiting Maryland to three free-position shots, all of which were stopped by Pandolf, who had a career-high 20 saves. But Hofstra could not get back in the game because it committed 10 turnovers and converted on only six of 12 clears.

"It's a game that we definitely should have won," Morgan said. "We definitely hurt ourselves in the second half. The turnovers we had weren't forced by Maryland, they were our own turnovers. So that's frustrating . . . Don't get me wrong, Maryland is a fabulous team, without a doubt. We just know we could have played better."

Because of the turnovers, Hofstra could not mount much of an offense in the second half, taking only seven shots. Jill Maier, who leads the Pride in scoring with nine goals, was shut out on four shots.

"We didn't run our offense, and Jill's part of our offense," Morgan said. "We didn't run the things that we need to run to get Jill goals, to get anybody goals."

McKinnon, April Iannetta and Maryann Miller also scored for Hofstra.

Maryland had easily handled Colonial Athletic Association members William & Mary (19-8) and Delaware (21-4), so the comparative scores could be encouraging to Hofstra. Pandolf thinks so, saying, "When we eventually play them, we will come up big against them."