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Soccer Star Abby Wambach Named AP's Female Athlete of the Year

Soccer Star Abby Wambach Named AP's Female Athlete of the Year

U.S. Women’s Soccer team forward Abby Wambach --who’s now renowned for her 11th-hour header into the goal against Brazil in the World Cup – has been named the Associated Press’ Female Athlete of the Year. Wambach is the first individual soccer player –male of female—to be recognized as athlete of the year, according to the Associated Press.

U.S. Women’s Soccer team forward Abby Wambach -- who’s now renowned for her 11th-hour header into the goal against Brazil in the World Cup –- has been named the Associated Press’ Female Athlete of the Year. Wambach is the first individual soccer player – male or female - to be recognized as athlete of the year, according to the Associated Press.

At the 2011 World Cup Wambach scored four goals total, including the one against Brazil that won the match and torpedoed her to soccer stardom. The team made it to the finals of the World Cup but lost to Japan.

"We, as a team, did something that no team since Mia Hamm (in 1999) was able to do," Wambach told the AP after the World Cup "Even the team that won the (Olympic) gold medal in 2008 wasn't able to inspire and get people excited about women's soccer. It goes to show you the impact drama can bring."

While Wambach came in first for Female Athlete of the Year in a vote of AP members, her teammate – and Dancing with the Stars break-out star – Hope Solo came in second, while University of Connecticut basketball star Maya Moore came in third, according to the AP.

Image via Getty.

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