Masar should be ready

CHAMPAIGN – Janet Rayfield expects her top scoring threat to be on the field when the Illinois women's soccer team opens play in the NCAA tournament Friday.

The Illini coach said Ella Masar, who missed most of the Big Ten tournament with a hamstring injury, is "probable" for the 4 p.m. first-round match against Louisville at South Bend, Ind.

Illini will face Louisville in NCAA opener

CHAMPAIGN – The Illinois soccer team will face Louisville at 4 p.m. Friday in South Bend, Ind., in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

It's the fifth consecutive season the Illini (11-6-2) have advanced to the tournament.

Early deficit too much for Illini

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Playing without injured leading scorer Ella Masar finally caught up to the Illini on Friday night in a 3-0 loss to Purdue in the semifinal round of the Big Ten tournament.

Illinois managed four shots on goal and couldn't overcome an early barrage that saw the Boilermakers tally two scores within the first 15 minutes.

No Masar, no problem for Illinois

ST. PAUL, Minn. – If Illinois is to advance to the title match at the Big Ten women's soccer tournament, it might not have Ella Masar to help.

The UI's All-Big Ten forward missed most of Thursday's shootout win against Minnesota with a hamstring injury. Coach Janet Rayfield said the Urbana product is "pretty questionable" for today's 8 p.m. semifinal against Purdue.

Masar, Zurrer head All-Big Ten picks

PARK RIDGE – Forward Ella Masar and defender Emily Zurrer were named first-team All-Big Ten in women's soccer Wednesday.

Defender Mary Therese McDonnell and midfielder Jackie Santacaterina made the second team, and forward Laura Knutson, defender Danielle Kot and midfielder Cory Steigerwald were selected to the all-freshman team.

Shots on goal

Staff writer Jeff Huth's three things to look for as the Illinois women's soccer team enters the Big Ten tournament at Minneapolis:

Chance to represent U.S. a 'dream' for record-breaking Masar

CHAMPAIGN – If Ella Masar has her way, the Illinois women's soccer team will play nine more matches this season.

Three in the Big Ten tournament, which begins Thursday. Six in the NCAA tournament to follow. Nine total for a sharp-shooting Illini senior with a pair of postseason titles squarely in her cross hairs.

UI's Masar repeats feat

PARK RIDGE – Illinois forward Ella Masar was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week in women's soccer on Monday for the second week in a row.

A ghoulish guide to all things sweet

When it comes to Halloween candy, chocolate is king.

Jerry's IGA on Kirby Avenue in Champaign – one of the smaller groceries in the area – buys a mind-boggling 2,580 packages of snack-sized chocolate bars for the season.

Hoerr rates league honor

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Move over, John Kronforst, you have company.

Illinois senior Trent Hoerr finished third Sunday at the Big Ten Championships, becoming the first Illini to earn All-Big Ten honors since Kronforst in 2001.