Doniak, other key pieces will anchor team in 2011

Jon Parrett

Texas’ season ended Friday as the Longhorns fell 3-1 to James Madison in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

Junior Kylie Doniak scored the lone goal for Texas off a cross from senior Kirsten Birkhold. It was Doniak’s ninth goal of the season.

Texas finishes the year 11-6-4, but 0-2 in the postseason.

Wins against BYU, Oklahoma State and Wisconsin-Milwaukee were highs for the Longhorns this season, but a slow start in Big 12 play buried them in the standings and they never got higher than fourth in the conference.

Texas looked like it might have been able to compete for the Big 12 title with strong play during it’s out-of conference schedule, but failed to come up with a win in its first four conference games.

After a loss to Kansas on Oct. 3, the Longhorns seemed to finally hit stride with their play, especially on the defensive end. In their five games following the loss to the Jayhawks, the Longhorns only allowed one goal, going 4-0-1 in that stretch, which included a win over No. 5 Oklahoma State.

Following the win over the Cowgirls, Oklahoma ended the Longhorns’ winning streak by downing them in double overtime in Austin. It also ended the Longhorns’ dominance on defense — Texas finished the season allowing seven goals in four contests.

A practical no-show in the first half of their opening-round game in the Big 12 tournament against Oklahoma set the tone for Texas in the postseason, as the Longhorns allowed JMU to outshoot them 19-12 in Friday’s loss in Chapel Hill.

Texas loses two starters, including captain Erica Campanelli, to graduation, but should be able to contend for the Big 12 title next season. Doniak emerged as a scoring machine toward the end of the season, and Campanelli is the only piece — albeit a major one — the Longhorns lose along their strong back line.