Sun Devil Soccer falls to Baylor in first round of the NCAA tournament

The Arizona State women's soccer team fell to third-seeded Baylor 3-1 in the opening round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

The Sun Devils (10-9-2), who lost for the first time in nearly a month, were making their sixth NCAA Tournament appearance and hosting a postseason match for only the second time.

Play was fairly stagnant for the first 15 minutes of the game before Baylor (18-1-4) got on the board with a goal by senior midfielder Hanna Gilmore with 29:53 left in the half.

The game got physical after the first goal and the Devils were dealt a serious blow when junior forward Devin Marshall was hit in the air by Baylor junior defender Kat Kudlow. Marshall was eventually helped off the field while Kudlow was issued a yellow card

"That is their style...they're direct, they're very good in the air, we knew it was going to be like that," ASU head coach Kevin Boyd said of the physical play.

Baylor scored again with 10:04 left in the first half with a one-touch finish from the corner by junior Alex Klein. It was one of three shots for the Bears in the first half.

"It's really hard to do a lot when a team scores two goals in three shots. It put us behind it and we had to battle back," Boyd said.

The second half was played amidst periods of heavy rain and gusting winds, which added to the chaotic atmosphere on the field where the two teams combined for 33 fouls (19 by Baylor and 14 from ASU) and six yellow cards (four given to Baylor and two to ASU).

ASU would cut Baylor's lead in half when Cali Farquharson scored on a header less than 10 minutes into the second half. Arizona State's momentum was brief, however, as Baylor defender Taylor Heatherly scored on a free kick less than a minute later to once again give the Bears a two-goal advantage. 

ASU was making its third NCAA appearance in a four-year span after a late-season, five-game unbeaten streak (4-0-1) enabled it to finish fourth in the Pac-12, its best league finish since 2004.