February 21, 2016
GETTING THE GOLDEN BOOT
Dunn finishes as top goal-scorer
By Michael Lewis
|Crystal Dunn: "You know, you have to deal with the minutes that you're given," Dunn said. "For me, it's a long journey. You can't hang your head and when your name is called you just have to perform and do your best."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
HOUSTON, Texas -- Crystal Dunn's trophy case is getting a bit more crowded.
Not only did she earn a gold medal from the United States winning the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship, the Rockville Centre, N.Y. native also wound up as the Golden Boot winner as the leading goal-scorer of the tournament.
The one-time South Side High School, Albertson Fury and Rockville Centre Tornados standout finished with six goals, even though she played slightly more than a half hour over the final two matches.
Dunn admitted she wasn't totally surprised when she heard her name over the public address system during the post-game award ceremonies at BBVA Compass Stadium.
"I knew I had scored a bunch of goals, obviously," she said. "It's exciting to step away from this tournament with a trophy. Two trophies actually, for winning the whole thing."
Actually, this was the second time in six months that the 23-year-old Dunn has been given the Golden Boot. While playing with the Washington Spirit, she led the National Women's Soccer League in scoring (15 goals) while garnering MVP honors as well.
"I'm excited about it," she said. "I'm just excited to be moving forward with the team."
Forward is the Rio Olympics. The USA clinched a berth with a 5-0 triumph over Trinidad & Tobago here Friday night.
When she walked through the mixed zone -- the media interview area -- after the game, Dunn did not have the trophy with her.
"I'm keeping it safe so people just don't take it," she said. "Just kidding. It's so heavy that I put it somewhere."
Dunn discovered how heavy it was when she was handed the award.
"Literally as soon as they put it in my hand, it's so heavy, oh my gosh," she said. "It's so heavy."
After striking for a team-record tying five goals in the 10-0 win over Puerto Rico last week, playing time became scarce. Mallory Pugh, a 17-year-old midfielder, was inserted in Dunn's place and has acquitted herself well.
"You know, you have to deal with the minutes that you're given," Dunn said. "For me, it's a long journey. You can't hang your head and when your name is called you just have to perform and do your best."
As it turned out, Dunn wasn't the only USA player to take home more than a gold medal. The Americans raked up big time when it came to awards.
Hope Solo was named the Golden Glove winner as the top goalkeeper and Morgan Brian was selected as Golden Ball winner as the top player.
They and six teammates were named to the all-tournament team -- defenders Kelley O'Hara and Becky Sauerbrunn, midfielder Tobin Heath, who tallied the second goal in the 61st minute, and Horan and forwards Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd, the team captain.