The best player in all of women’s college soccer is "crystal clear" as Rockville Centre's Crystal Dunn received the MAC Hermann Trophy, soccer’s version of the Heisman Trophy, on Friday night at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis.
Dunn beat out Penn State senior midfielder Christine Nairn and Virginia senior midfielder Caroline Miller as the best player in NCAA women's soccer.
Dunn, a University of North Carolina junior defender, became the fifth Tar Heel player to win in the award, following Cat Reddick (2003), Cindy Parlow (1997, 1998), Tisha Venturini (1994), Mia Hamm (1992, 1993) and Kristine Lilly (1991). The seven MAC Hermann Trophies for the North Carolina women are the most by any school.
“This is an amazing honor,” Dunn said at the Missouri Athletic Club. “I feel honored. I would like to thank my family, they have supported me.”
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The winner was decided by a vote of NCAA Division I soccer coaches whose programs are current members of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), along with a fan vote that cumulatively counted as the equivalent of one coach’s vote.
Though she missed the non-conference portion of the Tar Heels’ schedule, when Dunn re-joined the lineup, her experience and versatility made an immediate impact. She started at central defender for the first 11 games before being moved to the central midfield for the Tar Heels’ six-game NCAA Tournament run.
During the NCAA Tournament, Dunn scored in each of the first four games, including both goals in a double overtime win over Brigham Young University in the quarterfinals. She also assisted on Kealia Ohai's game-winning, double overtime goal in a 1-0 semifinal win against Stanford.
Dunn added one assist in North Carolina's 4-1 win over Penn State one game later for the NCAA Championship.
The three-year starter earned NSCAA First Team All-America honors. Dunn was named the Soccer America Freshman of the Year in 2010 and is the only player in ACC history to earn Defensive Player of the Year honors twice, which included this past season.
Dunn developed her skills with the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) Olympic Development Program, playing ODP for six years, and used it as a springboard to represent the USA internationally. She also spent her formative years in the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL), the largest league in ENYYSA, as she played for the Rockville Centre Power, Rockville Centre Tornadoes and Albertson Fury ‘91.
Earlier in the week, Dunn was named the recipient of the Soccer News Net Women’s College Boot, recognizing the National Player of the Year. The award is based on fan balloting and on voting by the staff of the seven Soccer News net websites: BigAppleSoccer.com, ChicagolandSoccerNews.com, DallasSoccerNews.com, DCSoccerNews.com, LASoccerNews.com, NewEnglandSoccerNews.com and PhillySoccerNews.com.
The above information was submitted by Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association.