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East’s Hilton picks Nebraska

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013 5:31 a.m. CDT
(Kane County Chronicle file photo)
St. Charles East junior midfielder Amanda Hilton recently verbally committed to Nebraska, calling the Big Ten school “the perfect place.”

Awaiting other college suitors hardly was an option for St. Charles East junior Amanda Hilton, who recently made a verbal commitment to the Nebraska women’s soccer team.

“I never thought the decision would come so quick,” Hilton said Monday, “but I guess when you know it’s the perfect place, the decision comes easily.”

A midfielder, Hilton visited the school’s Lincoln, Neb., campus a few weeks ago, was tendered a scholarship offer, and accepted in enough time to receive a Cornhuskers sweatshirt and T-shirt from her family for Christmas.

It may be awhile before National Signing Day for the Class of 2014, but Hilton only figures to recite her reasons for picking NU in the interim.

“Everything from the strong soccer program, the welcoming coaches, the amazing facilities and it being a great academic school. I just knew that’s where I wanted to go,” Hilton said.

Hilton declined to name a handful of other schools already on her recruiting radar in deference to Nebraska, which finished 7-12-1 last season, including a 4-7 mark in Big Ten play.

The Cornhuskers will graduate just one player from their 2012 team. Entering last fall, the program boasted eight NCAA Sweet 16 appearances in the past 16 years under veteran coach John Walker.

Nebraska coaches first encountered the 5-foot-5 Hilton during club matches for her Strikers Fox Valley team. Hilton acknowledged “there are things that I need to work on” entering college, but also said she felt strong in her leadership abilities.

Whether in high school or college, Hilton feels she is skilled at pulling her teammates together, even when she lacks the cachet of the rank of captain. She was a Kane County Chronicle honorable mention all-area selection as a sophomore.

Hilton doubles as a guard for East’s girls basketball team, which is off to a 5-0 start in the Upstate Eight Conference River Division.

“I’ve definitely been enjoying both sports since I was a little girl and am glad I can keep doing them in high school,” Hilton said.

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