Zurrer rates preseason honor

Illinois senior defender Emily Zurrer, who recently played for Canada at the Beijing Olympics, was named to the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy watch list Tuesday.

Zurrer, a two-time All-American, earned the preseason honor for the second consecutive year.

Ex-Illini Masar, U.S. claim Nordic soccer crown

BORLANGE, Sweden – Ella Masar, a former forward on the Illinois soccer team, scored a pair of goals to lead the U.S. Under-23 national team to a 3-0 win against Germany in the championship match of the Nordic Cup Championship.

The Urbana native scored her first goal in the 34th minute from 12 yards out and added another in the 63rd minute. She also scored the winner against Norway in the semifinals.

Masar earns spot on elite team

CHAMPAIGN – Former Illinois soccer player Ella Masar was named to the U.S. Under-23 Women's National Team that will compete in the Nordic Cup beginning Tuesday in Falun, Sweden.

The Urbana native is one of 18 players on the U.S. roster and one of six returnees who helped the United States to a 4-0 victory against Germany in last year's title match. The Nordic Cup is an eight-team tournament, with the United States joining Switzerland, England and Norway in Group B for round-robin group play. Placement matches between teams in Groups A and B will follow. The U.S. has won nine of the last 11 Nordic Cups.

Eight NCAA tourney qualifiers on UI soccer schedule

CHAMPAIGN – The Illinois women's soccer team will face eight opponents in 2008 that qualified for last year's NCAA tournament and five that finished 2007 nationally ranked.

The Illini announced their schedule Friday.

Bizzarri takes second place in NCAA meet

DES MOINES, Iowa – Illinois' Angela Bizzarri saved her best for last.

Bizzarri finished second in the 5,000 meters Friday night at the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Drake Stadium, setting a school record and earning All-America honors for the third time as a sophomore.

Illini runners on the move

DES MOINES, Iowa – Illinois junior Gakologelwang Masheto is on track to earn his third All-America accolade.

Masheto advanced in the 400 meters Wednesday at the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Drake Stadium, clocking 46.70 seconds and placing third in his heat.

Illini notch big victory in soccer

CHICAGO – Freshman Jordan Hilbrands and sophomore Chichi Nweke each found the back of the net as the Illini soccer team defeated the Mexican National Team 2-0 on Tuesday at Loyola Soccer Park.

"Even before the game you got a sense that this wasn't just another college team," Illinois coach Janet Rayfield said. "It probably wasn't until the crowd started doing the chant that they do at their national games that it really started to sink in for our younger players. This was a team that three weeks from now is going to start qualifying for the World Cup. I think we started the game with those kind of emotions."

Best of the rest

You know Loren Tate thinks Deron Williams is the best basketball player in Illinois history. Here are our columnist's greatest in each sport:

Masheto sets standard in 500 meters

NEW YORK – Illinois' Gakologelwang Masheto broke a 21-year-old collegiate indoor record, winning the 500 meters in 1 minute, 0.82 second Friday at the New Balance Invitational.

Texas' Tevan Everett was second in 1:02.19. The previous record was 1:00.84, set by Navy's Michael Greene in 1987.

UI wrestlers sweep matches

CHAMPAIGN – Coach Mark Johnson's Illinois wrestlers put on a show for the hometown fans Saturday.

No. 12 Gabe Flores, No. 7 Jimmy Kennedy, Ryan Prater, Grant Paswall, No. 12 John Dergo and No. 12 Patrick Bond each won two matches in the Illini's victories against Findlay (30-10) and McKendree College (31-9) at Huff Hall.