Soccer prepared for postseason
Nov. 2, 2010
Kfir Goldberg, Texas Media Relations
Texas concluded its regular season schedule on Friday night with an outing that depicts the season -- hard-fought and determined. The Longhorns battled to a 1-1 tie with No. 6 Texas A&M, also the Big 12 regular season champions, and now UT heads into the conference tournament primed for the postseason.
In their final three matches of the season, the 25th-ranked Longhorns contested three of the top four seeds in the Big 12 Tournament, which begins Wednesday in San Antonio. Last week, UT upset then-No. 5 Oklahoma State in Austin, then matched the Aggies in the finale.
UT is one of just eight teams this season to hold the Aggies to only one goal. The Longhorns feel that they are playing their most focused soccer at the right time.
“Our whole mindset this season has been to start strong, finish stronger,” junior midfielder and points leader Kylie Doniak said. “We’re ready for tournament, we’re ready to finish the season strong and go out with a championship.”
The Longhorns have good history in the Big 12 postseason, and won back-to-back tournament crowns in 2006 and 2007. UT finished this season with a 4-4-3 league mark and earned the fifth seed. Oklahoma awaits in the first round, and the Longhorns look to avenge last Sunday’s overtime home loss to the Sooners.
“(The OU loss) was a little tough for us. We could have won the game.” Doniak said. “We’ll come out this week focused and determined, playing the same style of soccer we have been.”
Head coach Chris Petrucelli likes the direction of his team, and thinks the Longhorns are following the course they planned during training camp back in August.
“We are ready. We‘ve talked all year long about getting better,” Petrucelli said. “We showed in these past few games that we have gotten better, and we’re ready to go to Big 12.”
Petrucelli believes the Longhorns improved play is a result of more consistent ball control.
“In the last three games, we had more possession,” Petrucelli said. “Any time we can keep the ball, we’re dangerous.”
Now entering the postseason, the Longhorns have a singular mission.
“One game at a time. We want a ring, we want a championship. We're here to win, and I think we have a great chance to do so,” Doniak said.