The award is based on fan balloting, which concluded on December 23, and on voting by the staff of the seven Soccer News net web sites: BigAppleSoccer.com, ChicagolandSoccerNews.com, DallasSoccerNews.com, DCSoccerNews.com, LASoccerNews.com, NewEnglandSoccerNews.com and PhillySoccerNews.com.
Dunn (South Side High School/Albertson Fury 91) is the only player in ACC history to earn Defensive Player of the Year honors twice, and is a finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy a well as a First-Team NSCAA All-America selection. After returning to Chapel Hill from helping the United States to the 2012 FIFA Under-20 World Cup gold medal, Dunn started the next 11 games and helped the Tar Heel defense to three shutouts, all in ACC 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. She scored all five of her 2012 goals in NCAA play including two tallies in the NCAA quarterfinals against BYU.
Previous winners of the Soccer News Net Women's College Player of the Year Award are: 2007-- Amy Rodriguez, USC; 2008--Casey Nogueira, North Carolina; 2009-Kelly O'Hara, Stanford; 2010: Melissa Henderson, Notre Dame; 2011-Vanessa DiBernardo, Illinois.