Girls soccer

Washington Township's Burton, Masson help build the girls soccer progam

2012-09-16T17:00:00Z 2012-09-17T11:39:03Z Washington Township's Burton, Masson help build the girls soccer progamJim Hunsley jim.hunsley@nwi.com, (219) 548-4356 nwitimes.com
September 16, 2012 5:00 pm  • 

Washington Township forwards Elizabeth Masson and Heather Burton share laughs and scoring responsibilities on the pitch.

The tandem has a combined 18 goals and seven assists for the Senators (4-5), who are in just their second year of varsity play.

"It's a blast," Masson said. "We're having a good time."

Both are among the most experienced soccer players on the squad. Masson, a junior, is in her 10th year of soccer and plays club ball, spending time with the Chicago Fire Juniors last season. Burton, a sophomore, doesn't play club soccer, but has played the sport since she was 4 years old.

"(Masson's) experiences are valuable to the team, and she's also one who is willing to help others," Washington Township coach Ron Goodaker said of the duo. "Heather is a natural athlete.

"It's extraordinary how well they work together. Neither one is selfish with the ball. They make us very strong up front."

Burton has team highs of 13 goals and four assists, but she said  Masson is the leader.

"Liz keeps the team motivated no matter what," Burton said. "She definitely has a lot of knowledge, and she knows what she is doing."

Part of that comes from the fact that Masson has played every positions on the field, including goalie.

"I think it helps when I think about trying to get the ball," Masson said. "I think of what I did in the other position and use those skills to make the play."

Both players were part of Washington Township's basketball team last season, and Burton was the team's leading scorer. Goodaker has no issue with his players taking part in other sports, and he said the court experience comes in handy.

"It's very similar with some strategies and it works," Goodaker said. "They know how to make plays with their feet and work in open spaces."

Fast breaks are also a part of soccer, and the ability to know how to fill certain lanes helps on the pitch.

"Whenever she has the ball, I know where she will go with it," Burton said of Masson. "We just always know where the other is on the field."

Both were on the field last year when the Senators won their first postseason game. Part of their mission this season is to create more interest in the sport to fill the roster for coming seasons.

"It's a huge accomplishment, and we just want to get the word out," Masson said. "It's exciting to get other girls out to play.

"We want to remain positive, and I want to help keep the program going."

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