February 11, 2016
MAKING IT CRYSTAL CLEAR
Dunn makes an impact as she is in the middle of the 1st three goals in the USWNT win
By Michael Lewis
|Crystal Dunn on scoring: "It felt really great. It's not really easy scoring on this team. There's so many great finishers. So finding the back of the net tonight, it was an amazing feeling."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
FRISCO, Texas -- Just about the only thing that did not go right for Crystal Dunn Wednesday night was her goal celebration.
After connecting for the United States' third goal in its 5-0 Group A triumph over Costa Rica in the CONCACAF Olympic Women's Championship Dunn tried to dab after scoring the third goal of the United States' 5-0 triumph over Costa Rica, but her exuberant teammates wouldn't allow her to complete it.
"It was so quick. Everyone was jumping onto to me and I was trying to dab and they were holding onto me," the Rockville Centre, N.Y. native said with a laugh. "And I was like, ach, maybe next time if I score again."
If she continues to play the way as she did at Toyota Stadium, there will be plenty of time to celebrate future goals. The former Albertson Fury standout scored one goal, originated the scoring sequence on the opening goal 12 seconds into the match that resulted in the back-breaking play of the encounter and essentially ran roughshod down the right wing, making herself a nuisance and a half to stop.
The 22-year-old Dunn, who scored her fifth international goal, hardly looked like a player with any jitters performing in her first game of real consequence outside of a friendly or the Algarve Cup.
"Surprisingly, no," she said. "Leading into the game, it was kind of, 'This is a big game. This is not a friendly.' But I think once the whistle blew, I was like, 'All right, it was just another game.' It's so easy for us to fall into the hole, 'Oh my gosh, this is such a pressurized environment.' At the end of the day, it's soccer and to just go in as stress free as possible is the best way."
Well, it was Dunn who caused plenty of stress on the Ticas.
While she wasn't creative on that particular play, the one-time South Side High School standout started the scoring sequence on Alex Morgan's goal only 12 seconds after the opening kickoff. Dunn literally got the ball rolling, tapping the ball to Tobin Heath as six Americans touched the ball before Morgan put it away with an impressive 12-yard strike.
"We try to do it every kick off," Dunn said. "It kind of either falls short or it just doesn't work out. But we're so excited that it was able to work tonight. It was such a great goal."
Costa Rica was never the same.
"Scoring that in 12 seconds was amazing for us," Dunn said. "Just to start the tournament off with such a key goal for us, it's important that we keep them on their heels. Itís important that we come out every single game. We don't go into any game overconfident. It's going to be hard and challenging every single game."
The USA struck for three goals in the opening 15 minutes. Dunn was fouled to set up Carli Lloyd's penalty kick in the ninth minute and scored herself, slotting home a rebound of her shot in a scramble in front of the net six minutes later.
"It felt really great," Dunn said. "It's not really easy scoring on this team. There's so many great finishers. So finding the back of the net tonight, it was an amazing feeling. I could not have done it without my teammates."
A victory over Mexico Saturday would all but ensure the USA reaching the semifinals. The semifinal winners will qualify for the Rio Olympics.
But Dunn is far from taking anything for granted.
"Mexico always brings their 120 percent, so it's not going to be easy," she said. "It's going to be challenging. They have great players. Some of them we know really well. They play in the league [National Women's Soccer League]. It's definitely going to be a challenge and we're not going in cocky."