Masello scores double: commited to Augsburg for basketball and soccer


Jennifer Masello

Jennifer Masello on the field in action as a varsity soccer player.

Running down the court with ache in her muscles but a fire that can’t be blown out in her heart, senior Jennifer Masello posts up underneath the basket to signal to her teammate she is ready for the pass. She is exhausted from a long day of school, but nothing can suppress the emotions she feels on the court.

Basketball season is coming to an end. The next morning, Masello wakes up at 5 a.m to get ready for varsity soccer weights that start a short time after basketball. Although there can be complications towards having to switch gears from sport to sport, Masello considers it a blessing in disguise.

Masello has played two sports for her whole high school career — and she isn’t stopping any time soon. She will be attending Augsburg University this upcoming fall and is committed for both basketball and soccer.  

Rather than taking the traditional route and choosing one sport, Masello has decided to try both sports going into her freshman year. Masello believes she could not give up either sport considering they both mean a lot to her.

“For basketball, I have played it longer and my whole family loves basketball. We always watch games and we are a basketball family. What I like about basketball is that it is more individualistic. Yes, you are playing on a team but there are also less people on the court so it is kind of more individual so I really like that,” Masello said.

Varsity girls basketball coach Lyndsie Long believes Masello is ready for college basketball and she holds all of the traits needed to be successful under such trying circumstances.

“She’s an athlete. She is resilient and can handle what’s thrown her way. She lives and breathes sports right now so I know she will be structured enough to play two sports at the collegiate athletes. She’s passionate for her sports, she’s a leader and she’s dedicated,” Long said.

In deciding what school to go to, Masello felt she needed to have accommodating coaches and support at her college which was a big factor in her decision. Masello believes the coaches will help her be successful in her unique journey.

“Both of my [college] coaches are aware of my situation. He told me that once soccer is done to just take a week off and then come back to the sports. Then in the spring he said that both of the coaches understand my situation and they plan accordingly. So they are going to overlap, but the coaches are both going to help me and they are okay with my decision,” Masello said.

Long was present during Masello’s decision-making while figuring out if she wanted to play both sports or one sport going into her first year of college.

“[Masello] was originally set on just playing soccer in college. However, as her senior basketball season progressed she started playing with the idea of doing both in college. Her parents also talked to her about taking on the challenge and helped her realize that it is not an unrealistic goal. I was a sponge during this process of her deciding and told her she could definitely do it and that she is a phenomenal basketball player that shouldn’t be done with the sport yet,” Long said.

Basketball teammate junior Holly Leuken, also going on to play basketball in college, sees Masello as a strong basketball player and person on and off the court.

“[Masello] is an incredibly hard worker and a teammate everyone dreams of having. Her passion and competitive nature is very hard to find and incredibly admirable. Off the court she is continuously supporting her team mates and installing confidence in everyone around her,” Leuken said.

Masello understands the vigor of the situation she is going into and has readily prepared for the work she will have to endure her freshman year. Masello has found a group that can guide her in the right direction and developed strategies for dealing with multiple things at once.

“I will have a lot of the girls on the team to help me. I am going there for exercise science and a lot of the girls on both teams are in that major so they can help me with my classes if I need it. I have always been in school sports and club sports at the same time so I have had to balance school work at DGS with all of those things. I feel like I have developed good enough time management skills,” Masello said.

In choosing her college, Masello wanted to ensure she was going to attend a school that would be the best fit for her. On top of the good athletics and compensating coaches, Augsburg was seen as the perfect choice in the long run.

“For both sports they are both really good in their conference and they always have a good chance of going to the NCAA tournament every year so I loved that. It is in a really good location, right next to the University of Minnesota, so it is a small school, but it has that college town vibe because it is next to such a big school. I like how the separate sports within the school support each other. Everyone there is their own little family which I like a lot,” Masello said.

As a coach, Long believes Masello will endure all of the hard work and ultimately come out successful despite her fears and gives her advice when going into the season.

“There are going to be a lot of tough times, but the good times will weigh out the bad or hard times. Play sports while you are young and healthy. It goes way too fast. Surround yourself with people who have the same passion and goals as you and it will make your ride much easier,” Long said.

Masello acknowledges that despite the support she constantly has, there are some things she is still worried about including balancing school work.

“The schoolwork is definitely going to be a challenge. It is going to take a long time to adjust to figuring out when to do school work, and when I have to stay up really late after practice. But I know I can push through it because I know that school comes first. So I think just adjusting to the courses will be my main thing,” Masello said.

Varsity soccer teammate junior Abby Wissler is confident that Masello take this opportunity and make the best out of it, despite all of the situations she will have to go through in order to be successful.

“I would remind [Masello] that so many people look up to her and that she has left her legacy as DGS. The DGS soccer program will never forget Jen Masello. She left her mark and we are all very supportive and excited for her. Sometimes it’ll be hard and there will be ups and downs, but everything’s going to be worth it in the end,” Wissler said.