Eastern Illinois University has been at the top of Ben Stone's list of desired colleges for over a year.
The Dundee-Crown senior made it official last week when he verbally committed to accept a scholarship offer to play men's soccer for the Panthers.
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"I loved the coaching staff and the players on the team," said Stone, who also considered Division III power Loras College and Division II Lewis University. "I think it's the best place for me to grow as a player and as a person."
A forward/midfielder, Stone led the Chargers to the program's best season ever this past fall, a 19-1-1 overall campaign that included an undefeated run to the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division championship, D-C's second and first since 2005.
He scored 11 goals and had 8 assists this past season and was an all-sectional selection.
Stone committed to Eastern just after 14th-year head coach Adam Howarth resigned. Stone gave his commitment to assistant coach Mark Hansen, who is running the program until a new coach is hired.
"I love the guy," Stone said of Hansen.
Stone, who said he'll study physical therapy, will join former Dundee-Crown teammate Tony Meza at EIU. Meza just completed his sophomore season with the Panthers. EIU, which plays in the Summit League, was 1-14-2 this past season.