On a night in which rain poured for the first time in recent memory, the ASU soccer team lost a match for the first time in recent memory, falling 3-1 to Baylor in the first round of the NCAA tournament Friday night.
The loss knocked the Sun Devils (10-9-2) out of the opening round of the postseason for the third time in the past four seasons.
The match had a very physical nature to it, as the two squads combined for 33 total fouls and six yellow cards.
“It was every bit the battle we thought it would be,” ASU coach Kevin Boyd said. “It was physical, and it’s really hard to do a lot when a team scores two goals on three shots.”
Baylor (18-1-4) managed to take only three shots in the first half but made the most of their opportunities, knocking in a pair of goals.
Senior midfielder Hanna Gilmore gave the Bears the early advantage, netting a shot in the top right corner in the 16th minute for her seventh goal of the season.
The Sun Devils took a blow in the 27th minute when junior forward Devin Marshall went up for a challenge and sustained a broken nose, keeping her out of the rest of the match.
Marshall came into the match tied for the team-lead in goals.
“It’s just the way it goes sometimes,” Boyd said. “The girl got a yellow card on it, and it seemed appropriate to me.”
Junior midfielder Alex Klein doubled the lead eight minutes after Marshall’s injury, when she volleyed a perfectly crossed ball from redshirt junior midfielder Larissa Campos past ASU redshirt freshman goalkeeper Chandler Morris for her third goal of the season.
The Sun Devils cut the deficit in half in the 55th minute when freshman forward Cali Farquharson headed in a loose ball for her 10th of the season.
“Honestly (the goal) it’s still a blur,” Farquharson said. “I just ran back post, and it came and I just got my head on it.”
The Sun Devils lost the momentum only 46 seconds later when junior defender Taylor Heatherly scored a long free kick for her first career goal.
The ball made its way through a host of players untouched and Boyd wasn’t happy conceding the goal.
“It was rough,” Boyd said. “It was quite a mistake.”
The match was scoreless the rest of the way, as the Sun Devils were defeated for the first time since Oct. 12.
“We did a good job of battling back in the second half, but it just wasn’t meant to be,” Boyd said.
With the win, Baylor set a program record with 18 wins and will face Georgetown in the second round Friday in Chapel Hill, N.C.
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