From her freshman year at South Side High School, it was clear that Crystal Dunn had a very bright future in soccer.
The Rockville Centre native recently assisted on the game-winning goal while playing defense in the women's under-20 World Cup championship for the US against Germany.
"It was a big run forward and at first I was like, 'What am I doing up here? I should not be up this far,'" Dunn told USsoccer.com of her assist. "But a defender was isolated and I was like, 'Let me just try and take her and see what's going to come about it.'"
Moments later, Dunn burned the opposing defender in the 18-yard box and then put a beautiful cross through the box onto the foot of teammate Kealia Ohai for the only goal of the match.
"We've been through so much and this victory just put everything together," Dunn said after the win. "It's one thing to be like, 'Alright, we made it to the finals, but we lost.' But the fact that we came away with the victory means that it was all worth it in the end."
But the World Cup assist is merely the culmination of years of hard work that began on the fields of Rockville Centre.
Dunn played for South Side in 2006, 2007 and 2009 -- she missed the 2008 campaign due to National Team commitments. However, in the three years Dunn did play for the Lady Cyclones, the team lost just a combined two games and won the state title in all three seasons.
In those three seasons, Dunn scored 46 goals and had 35 assists, but she saved her best performance for last. In the 2009 state championship game, Dunn scored four goals and had a hat trick in the first 20 minutes of the match.
Now, as a Tar Heel at the University of North Carolina, Dunn has continued her dominance on the field.
The 5-foot-2 Dunn -- the smallest member of both the U20 team and the Tar Heels -- was named Soccer America's Freshman of the Year in 2010 and finished with 26 points, third on the defending champion Tar Heels. Last year, she was named a third-team All-American by the NSCAA.
North Carolina is the NCAA's all-time winningest program, collecting 20 championships in the tournament's 30 years of existence. However, the Tar Heels have not won the title since Dunn joined the roster and are currently on their longest drought without a championship -- two years.
Dunn's success at South Side, followed by her brilliance in the World Cup, can only lead one to believe that a championship at North Carolina is not far away.