ST. LOUIS, MO. - Junior midfielder Crystal Dunn from the University of North Carolina and junior forward Patrick Mullins from the University of Maryland are the winners of the 2012 Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy, presented to the best female and male players in NCAA Division I soccer. The winners were 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.
"I want to congratulate Crystal Dunn on this extraordinary achievement, especially in light of her competition for this award," said UNC head coach Anson Dorrance. "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. 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."
"Still, 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," Dorrance continued, "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."
Dunn (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) 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 Carolina 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 Carolina capture their 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.).
Mullins (New Orleans) led Maryland's high-scoring attack with 17 goals and 10 assists. 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
An NSCAA First Team All-American, Mullins' 2012 season ranks sixth in points and goals, and eighth in assists in Maryland program single-season history. The forward was named ACC Offensive Player of the Year and tabbed Most Valuable Player at the ACC Championship after leading the Terps to their third ACC tournament crown since 2008. He also helped Maryland capture the ACC regular season crown for the first time since 2005. Mullins is the second player in Maryland history to win the MAC Hermann Trophy. Jason Garey received the crystal soccer ball trophy in 2005.
The first runner-up was Notre Dame forward Ryan Finley (Lumberton, N.J.) followed by Creighton senior midfielder Jose Gomez (Santa Ana, Calif.).
The Missouri Athletic Club has been presenting college soccer's players of the year awards since 1986. The MAC was established in 1903 as an athletic, dining and social club. It has a "Platinum Club of America" status, which is awarded to the top 3 percent of private clubs in the country.
About the NSCAA
Founded in 1941 and based in Kansas City, Kan., the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) is a non-profit organization with a mission to educate coaches, encourage excellence and serve the soccer community.
The NSCAA is the world's largest soccer coaches' organization with members at every level of the game. The membership is primarily made up of coaches, but also includes administrators, referees and others in the soccer industry. The NSCAA provides its members ways to enhance the game of soccer by providing a national education program, interaction and networking opportunities, and membership benefits.For more information about the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, visit NSCAA.com.