A couple months ago, former Tar Heel women’s soccer player Heather O’Reilly returned to the state to play for the North Carolina Courage. However, over the past couple months, it’s been another Heel who’s grabbed the headlines.
The Cary-based Courage have already clinched a NWSL playoff spot and first place in the regular season, and Crystal Dunn has played a large part in that. The UNC graduate is top five in both goals and assists, and has won two of the league’s player of the week awards, and as well as being player of the month for June. As a team, the Courage have lost just one of their 21 games so far this season.
Dunn is no stranger to having great seasons in the NWSL, having won the league’s MVP award back in 2015. This is her first season with the Courage, having spent a couple seasons in England, playing for Chelsea. She has obviously been a welcome addition back into the top level of American women’s soccer.
Dunn has also gotten plenty of time recently with the US women’s national team. As you can tell with the goal and assist numbers, she’s primarily played in attack. However with the national team, she’s gotten a chance to showcase her versatility by playing in defense. Dunn got the start in all three matches in the Tournament of Nations, as the US beat out Australia, Brazil, and Japan for the tournament title.
In college, Dunn had a stellar career, having won the Hermann Trophy, which is the college soccer equivalent of the Heisman. Not shockingly, she also won ACC Player of the Year, in addition to helping the Tar Heels to the 2012 national championship.
There are a couple more weeks of games in the NWSL regular season, with the playoffs kicking off in mid-September. The Courage will for sure be hosting a semifinal in Cary. It’s currently slated to be played September 16th at 3 PM ET. If you’re looking for some live sports to attend in the upcoming weeks, cheering on Dunn and O’Reilly and the rest of the Courage sounds like a good option.
If Dunn and company win the semifinal, the NWSL championship game will be played September 22nd in Portland, OR.