By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
January 7, 2013-While it might not garner the large amount of publicity that the Heisman Trophy does, the MAC Hermann Trophy to the best player in college soccer will be awarded on January 11 at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis. Former Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) Olympic Development Program player Crystal Dunn is one of the three finalists. The University of North Carolina junior defender is a finalist along with University of Virginia senior forward Caroline Miller and Penn State senior midfielder Christine Nairn.
Crystal developed her wonderful skills with the Olympic Development Program, playing ODP for six years, and used it as a springboard to represent the USA internationally. Crystal also spent her formative years in the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL), the largest league in ENYYSA. The Rockville Centre resident played for the Rockville Centre Power, Rockville Centre Tornadoes and Albertson Fury ‘91.
2012 was a terrific year for Crystal as she won the Under-20 Women’s World Cup while representing the United States internationally in Japan in September and won the NCAA championship in December.
Crystal assisted on fellow Tar Heel Kealia Ohai’s goal, the only goal in the Under-20 Women’s World Cup final, in the 1-0 victory over Germany.
After returning to Chapel Hill, she started the next 11 games and helped the Tar Heel defense to three shutouts, all in Atlantic Coast Conference action, and a 0.71 goals against average. By the time the Tar Heels nailed down their 22nd national championship in early December, she had appeared in 17 games (all starts), garnering 15 points on five goals and five assists. Crystal 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.
"Crystal has a genuine love for the game and a true desire to be the very best," commented Tim Bradbury, ENYYSA’s Director of Coaching Instruction who coached her on the Power and Tornadoes. "She was the first to arrive at practice and the last to leave. Now when she comes home to Rockville Centre, she often plays against some of the boys teams I train."
"Crystal has really adapted her game to become a world-class defender," added Paul Riley, her coach with the Albertson Fury, "The assist in the Under-20 Women’s World Cup final sums her strengths: speed, great one-on-one ability and the poise to make the final ball count. She will play on the full women’s national team one day."
With 123,843 youth soccer players––68,587 boys and 55,256 girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 12 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Special Children. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log on to http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.