UNC’s Dunn claims Hermann Trophy
North Carolina junior midfielder Crystal Dunn was awarded the 2012 Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy, presented by the coaches to best female player in NCAA Division I soccer.
“I want to congratulate Crystal Dunn on this extraordinary achievement, especially in light of her competition for this award,” UNC coach Anson Dorrance said in a statement. “I am thrilled for Crystal because starting in the NCAA Tournament we took her from defense where she had been named a two-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year and put her at attacking center half.
“We watched her either score or assist in every NCAA Tournament game, where she was the margin of victory in an unlikely NCAA championship run for us.”
The Rockville Centre, N.Y. native is the sixth player from UNC to win the award, following Cat Reddick (2003), Cindy Parlow (1997, 1998), Tisha Venturini (1994), Mia Hamm (1992, 1993) and Kristine Lilly (1991). The eight MAC Hermann Trophies for the UNC women are the most by any school.
Dunn was a key member of the 2012 U.S. National Team that captured the U20 World Cup in Japan in September. As a result, she missed the non-conference portion of the Tar Heels’ schedule, but once she joined the lineup, her experience and versatility made an immediate impact.
Dunn started at center back for the first 11 games back in the lineup before being moved to the center midfield for UNC’s six-game NCAA Tournament run.
She played a key role in helping UNC capture the 22nd national championship in school history. Dunn assisted on goals in both College Cup games. The three-year starter earned NSCAA First Team All-America honors and was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year.
The first runner-up was Penn State senior midfielder Christine Nairn (Arnold, Md.) followed by Virginia senior midfielder Caroline Miller (Rockville, Md.).
“Caroline Miller had a remarkable career and had brilliant performances against the University of North Carolina, scoring in almost every game she played against us,” Dorrance said. “As everyone knows, we play the 3-4-3 system at all costs. But in this year’s national championship final against Penn State and Christine Nairn, we had to change it because of Nairn’s ability to beat defenses with her pinpoint passing.”
The men’s award was won by Patrick Mullins. He tallied seven game-winners to lead Maryland to the best winning percentage in the country (20-1-3). The Terrapins made it all the way to the College Cup semifinal, where they lost on penalty kicks.