Ella Masar's Brazilian Diary

"I woke to hear a slight knocking on our door this morning and quickly realized as I glanced at the alarm clock that it was 7:45 am. Now usually I would roll back over and fall back asleep, instead the worst feeling of panic rushed over my body.

Flood-prone field changing into wetlands

ST. JOSEPH – A former corn and beans field on the west edge of St. Joseph is being turned into a restored wetlands area that may some day attract marsh-loving creatures like blue-winged teal and great blue herons.

Bruce Stikkers, a resource conservationist at the Champaign County Soil and Water Conservation District, has been leading workers in the transformation that he predicts will become a natural attraction and living laboratory for local students.

Ella Masar's Brazilian diary

Ella Masar and her Illinois women's soccer teammates are in Brazil on an offseason trip. Here's the latest from the Urbana native:

Who's that Illini?

A winner of the Dike Eddleman Athlete of the Year Award, I'm considered the best goalkeeper in UI history, owning nearly every major record in the book. I was a first-team All-American by several publications and ended by career in 2004.

St. Joseph school dealing with outbreak of chickenpox

ST. JOSEPH – When eight students at St. Joseph Grade School were sent home with chickenpox before spring break last week, Superintendent Todd Pence hoped he was seeing the last of the outbreak.

No such luck.

Illini player lends her expertise to the prep soccer game

URBANA – The girls' soccer coach at Urbana doesn't need to tell her team how to perform a certain drill or execute a play.

She can show them.

Who's that Illini?

I'm a two-time winner of the soccer team's most valuable player award, most recently in 2003, my senior season. I earned first team All-Big Ten honors that year. Known for my defense, I was Illinois' first NSCAA Scholar All-American in 2003.

Who's that Illini?

I led the 1998 Illinois women's soccer team with 14 goals, a distinction that helped me earn a spot on Soccerbuzz's Great Lakes Region All-Freshman team. I concluded my career in 2000 with 23 career goals.

Lisa Baldwin

Karniski signs with pro team

   CHAMPAIGN – Illinois senior defender Christen Karniski has signed to play professionally with FC Indiana of the Women's Premier Soccer League.

Who's that Illini?

I was the soccer team's most valuable player during its first two seasons (1997, '98). I finished my career a year later with 12 total goals, and my 19 assists are tops on the career list.