UNC’s Dunn takes top ACC honor
North Carolina women’s soccer star Crystal Dunn has been named the winner of the 2012-13 Mary Garber Award, the highest honor bestowed upon an ACC women’s athlete.
Virginia men’s tennis standout Jarmere Jenkins earned the top male honor, the Anthony J. McKevlin Award, in voting by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.
Dunn claimed the 24th Mary Garber Award after leading the Tar Heels’ to their 21st NCAA women’s soccer championship and the program’s 22nd national title overall.
The awards are given in memory of distinguished journalists from the region. Garber, of the Winston-Salem Journal, was a pioneer as one of the first female sports journalists in the nation, while McKevlin was a sports editor in Raleigh.
“It is tremendous honor to win the Mary Garber Award for 2012-13,” Dunn said. “I know the competition for the award must have been fierce, given the great year the ACC had in women’s sports.”
Dunn was the consensus collegiate women’s soccer player of the year, claiming both the Hermann Trophy and the Honda Award for soccer in addition to national player of the year honors from Soccer America and Soccer News Net.
In addition to being named a consensus first-team All-American, the Rockville Centre, N.Y., junior was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year for the second time in her three years at UNC.
An All-ACC selection for the third straight year, Dunn scored five goals and had five assists during the 2012 season, with all five goals coming in NCAA play.
Dunn, who earned All-NCAA Championship honors, started 11 straight games on defense because of injuries to UNC’s starting defenders, then moved to attacking center midfielder at the start of the NCAA Championship. Her efforts helped the Tar Heels beat No. 1 seeds in each of the final three rounds of the tournament to claim the national title.
Seven UNC women’s soccer student-athletes have combined to win eight Garber Awards since the conference initiated the honor in 1990. Dunn noted that she wears the No. 19 — the same number two-time winner Mia Hamm (1993, 1994) wore during her playing days at UNC. Cindy Parlow Cone, the 1999 recipient, coached Dunn as a UNC assistant before being named Portland Thorns FC head coach in December.
“It is humbling to know that I am the eighth recipient from UNC and follow in the footsteps of players like Mia Hamm, Cindy Parlow and the other Tar Heel soccer players who have won the award,” Dunn said. “It is an honor to wear Mia’s collegiate number when I take the field for the Tar Heels and a privilege to have had Cindy on our coaching staff my first three years here.”
In addition to her banner junior season at UNC, Dunn starred on the U.S. Under 20 National Team that won the World Cup in Japan in 2012. Dunn played every minute for Team USA in pool play and the medal round as a wing defender, and she assisted on the game-winning goal in the 1-0 gold medal game win over Germany.
Jenkins, who helped lead the Cavaliers to the ACC’s first-ever national title in men’s tennis, is the winner of the 60th McKevlin Award as the conference’s premier male athlete.