Masar’s determination pushes her to new victories

By Jeannie Szkolka

Senior forward Ella Masar is an all star on the Illini soccer team, leading the team this season in both points and goals. Last season brought accolades such as the Big Ten offensive player of the year, and this year she’s a finalist for the Senior class award.

Head Coach Janet Rayfield says that Masar is more than just her skill at soccer, she’s one of the hardest workers on the team.

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“To call her an assest is such an understatement,” Rayfield said. “It sounds trivial almost. And I think over time (she) has become a piece of the heart and soul of this team.”

Masar, on the other hand, isn’t satisfied with her performance this year.

“I still feel like there’s a lot of room to grow and improve, and I don’t think necessarily I’ve had the year I’ve wanted,” Masar said. “But you know I’m just happy that we’re winning and we have this weekend, so I guess that’s why my personal success hasn’t seemed as well because if we win then I’m more happy than if I get a goal and we lose.”

She is driven by more than just the will to win. She says a close bond with her family pushes her to succeed.

“My Mom suffers from bipolar disorder and she’s just never had a lot of the things I think she deserves, as well as my family,” Masar said. “So, you know, the day I can give them what they need is the day that I think I’ve made it. Until then, I’ll keep trying.”

You can catch Masar and the rest of the Illini soccer team in action this weekend when they take on Minnesota tomorrow here in Champaign.

For updates about the Illini soccer team, check back with DailyIllini.com throughout the weekend.