Soccer icon Mia Hamm on the left along with men’s Hermann Trophy Award recipient Patrick Mullins of the University of Maryland and Crystal Dunn
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
January 12, 2013-The best player in all of women’s college soccer is Crystal-clear as Crystal Dunn received the MAC Hermann Trophy, soccer’s version of the Heisman Trophy, on January 11 at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis. The first runner-up was Penn State senior midfielder Christine Nairn followed by Virginia senior midfielder Caroline Miller. The winners were decided by a vote of NCAA Division 1 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.
Crystal developed her wonderful 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.
Crystal, a University of North Carolina junior midfielder, 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," Crystal said at the Missouri Athletic Club. "I feel honored. I would like to thank my family. They have supported me."
Crystal was a key member of the 2012 U.S. National Team that captured the Under-20 World Cup in Japan in September. She 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. She missed the non-conference portion of the Tar Heels’ schedule, but after she 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.
The Rockville Centre resident played a key role in helping North Carolina capture its 22nd national championship as she assisted on goals in both College Cup games. The three-year starter earned NSCAA First Team All-America honors. 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 which included this past season.
It was a wonderful week for Crystal as she was named the recipient of the Soccer News Net Women’s College Boot, recognizing the National Player of the Year, on January 9. That 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.
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.