The crowd of 9,782 was the largest crowd ever to watch a women's lacrosse game in the United States.
"I'm extremely proud of the way that my players played," NU coach Kelly Amonte Hiller said in a release. "I think they showed a lot of heart. I think they represented our university extremely well. Maryland is a tremendous team. They're not going to let down and they really fought back."
Sophomore Shannon Smith led the Wildcats with three goals, while senior Danielle Spencer and freshman Erin Fitzgerald had two goals each.
Katrina Dowd, who spend part of the second half on the sideline with a leg injury, had one assist.
The No. 2 Wildcats (20-2) jumped out to a 6-0 lead. But Maryland rallied and the teams went to the break tied at 8.
With one of Amonte Hiller's youngest teams and sophomore goalkeeper Brianne LoManto (159 saves) returning, the Cats figure to be in the hunt for a sixth NCAA title next year