Former Illini forward Ella Masar led the U.S. U-23 Women's National Team to its second consecutive Nordic Cup Championship.
July 22, 2008
FALUN, Sweden - Like I said before, "We are the champions - my friends and we'll keep on fighting til the end, we are the champions, we are the champions...." We are not only the Nordic Cup champions for the second year in a row but again we completed all our games with shutouts! The final score tonight was 3-0 and for the most part the game was actually in our hands. Going into half time we had a 2-0 lead and felt pretty good with our play however as any soccer player knows this is also the most dangerous score to have. I say this because in this situation a team can easily find themselves thinking the game is won to having their backs against the wall with only a 2-1 lead. With this sport especially, all it takes is one goal to bring a team back in it, to have the momentum switched to their side. A perfect example is two years ago when we played Penn State at home. We somehow found ourselves in the hole with being down to them 2-0 at half, however we never gave up and came back to win 3-2 (might be my favorite game of all time). Anyway, after being under the gun from the Germans for the first 15 minutes or so of the second half, we were able to create enough havoc to put another goal away which pretty much destroyed any chance of them coming back (man did it feel good) ;) Overall I do not think I could have asked for a better Nordic trip experience, especially comparing this one to last year. Last year I had to overcome so many personal doubts to finally believe I deserved to be here, whereas this year, I had the opportunity to come in knowing exactly what to expect and furthermore I finally performed how I know I could.
With my last blog coming to a close I would just like to take this time to thank you all for supporting not only me, but also the University of Illinois soccer team. I know I will not be coming back in the fall but trust me when I say you guys have to go watch those ladies play. With having the privilege of being their intern this spring I am telling you that this fall will truly be something special. The work that they have put in, the dedication that they have shown, will no doubt make them one of the best teams in the country. Even if the ratings do not show it, I give you my word with playing with some of the best college players in the nation their limits are endless!!!
Again to everyone reading these blogs, putting up with "the only thing that moves faster than my legs, my mouth," and my four year college experience, THANK YOU. I truly would not have been able to call the last four years some of the best years of my life without you. I hope that you not only continue to support the University of Illinois program with the championships to come, but also begin to support the Women's Professional Soccer League (WPSL) that comes back this spring. Yes, I am trying with everything in my power to make it onto one of the seven teams and of course, I will keep you all informed to the best of my abilities ;) As for now I am currently finishing up my stay in DC in the next two weeks, then making the lovely coming back to the great old CU for a good 10 days, and then finally heading off to train in Norway til mid-november.
After that I have no idea where this crazy ride is going to take me but as I wear my U of I sports bra in all my national games and W-League games, I will always be a Fighting Illini. Bottom line I wouldnt be able to be where I am today, have the amazing opportunities without this prestigious university's help and support. Love you all, God bless...
Ella C. Masar is over and out (oh and Em, bring back a medal ya hear!!! sorry can't say gold cause well you know, USA what time is it;)