Some six weeks into 2016, Crystal Dunn had an eye-opening performance during Olympic qualifying that would withstand the test of time and ultimately prove to be U.S. Soccer’s Best Individual Performance of the Year.
The Rockville Centre native scored five goals February 15 in leading the United States to a 10-0 win over Puerto Rico during a 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship match at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Tex. She scored two goals in the first half and three in the final 45 minutes.
Dunn’s performance against Puerto Rico not only tied a U.S. WNT record for most goals scored in a single game, but it was also her first multi-goal game for the U.S. on a night when she went from five to 10 career goals.
She became the seventh player to score five goals in a match in the 31 years of the WNT program, joining Brandi Chastain, Michelle Akers, Tiffeny Milbrett, Abby Wambach, Amy Rodriguez and Sydney Leroux. Dunn was also awarded the Golden Boot at the end of the tournament as the top scorer.