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Gator Great Abby Wambach is the 2011 Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year

Tuesday December 20, 2011Gator Great Abby Wambach is Female Athlete of the Year by Associated Press

Gainesville, Fla.

Gator Great Abby Wambach is the 2011 Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year

Gator great Abby Wambach added another accolade to the slew of honors bestowed on the U.S. star of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup – this time as the clear choice for the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year. Wambach picked up 65 of the 214 votes cast, while World Cup teammate Hope Solo was second (38) and Connecticut women’s basketball star Maya Moore was third with 35 votes.

Read Scott Carter’s blog on Abby Wambach’s latest honor
Former UF star Abby Wambach first soccer player to earn AP Female Athlete of the Year honors

Wambach is the first individual soccer player – male or female – to pick up the AP sport honor in its 81-year history. The 1999 U.S. women’s soccer team, which included another Gator great Danielle Fotopoulos, won that year’s honor after capturing the nation’s attention with their World Cup win at the Rose Bowl.

This summer, Wambach rose to the moment time after time on the sport’s biggest stage. It was Wambach who scored the latest goal in Women’s World Cup history when she headed home a cross from Megan Rapinoe to tie Brazil 2-2 in the second minute of quarterfinal stoppage time in the second and final 15-minute overtime period. The U.S. then converted all five of its penalty kicks in the shootout to advance to the World Cup semifinal.

In the semifinal versus France, Wambach again headed in a clutch goal, breaking the 1-all tie with her go-ahead goal in the 79th minute. The U.S. advanced to the World Cup final with a 3-1 win over France.

After the U.S and Japan tied at 1-all in World Cup Final regulation play, Wambach broke the tie when she headed in a goal in the 104th minute of the first overtime. But that lead evaporated when Japan tied the match with a goal in the second overtime. The U.S. lost 3-1 in the penalty kick shootout, with the lone U.S. PK score coming off Wambach’s foot.

Wambach collected the Silver Ball as the second-best player in the World Cup, and also earned the Bronze Boot as the third leading scorer with four goals. She’s tallied 13 goals in World Cup action – the most ever by a U.S. player. Wambach is third on the U.S. career scoring list with 125 goals.

In October, the Women’s Sports Foundation named Wambach their 2011 Sportswoman of the Year.

Wambach is the Gators' career leader in goals (96), assists (50) and points (242) and stands seventh on the NCAA Career charts in goals and points. She earned National Soccer Coaches Association of American (NSCAA) All-America first-team honors in 1999 and 2001. She is a four-time member of the All-Southeastern Conference first team and picked up the SEC Player of the Year award in 2000 and 2001. This April, she will be inducted into the Gator Athletic Hall of Fame.

AP Athletes of the Year

Abby Wambach is the first Gator – male or female - to be named an individual winner of an AP Athlete of the Year honor. Another former Gator – Danielle Fotopoulos – was part of the 1999 U.S. Women’s National Team which shared that year’s honor.

Male

Female

Announced Dec. 21

2011 - Abby Wambach, soccer

2010 – Drew Brees, NFL

2010 - Lindsey Vonn, skiing

2009 – Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR

2009 - Serena Williams, tennis

2008 – Michael Phelps, swimming

2008 - Candace Parker, basketball

2007 - Tom Brady, NFL

2007 - Lorena Ochoa, golf

2006 - Tiger Woods, golf

2006 - Lorena Ochoa, golf-x

2005 - Lance Armstrong, cycling

2005 - Annika Sorenstam, golf

2004 - Lance Armstrong, cycling

2004 - Annika Sorenstam, golf

2003 - Lance Armstrong, cycling

2003 - Annika Sorenstam, golf

2002 - Lance Armstrong, cycling

2002 - Serena Williams, tennis

2001 - Barry Bonds, MLB

2001 - Jennifer Capriati, tennis

2000 - Tiger Woods, golf

2000 - Marion Jones, track

1999 - Tiger Woods, golf

1999 - U.S. Soccer Team

1998 - Mark McGwire, MLB

1998 - Se Ri Pak, golf

1997 - Tiger Woods, golf

1997 - Martina Hingis, tennis

1996 - Michael Johnson, track & field

1996 - Amy Van Dyken, swimming

1995 - Cal Ripken, MLB

1995 - Rebecca Lobo, basketball

1994 - George Foreman, boxing

1994 - Bonnie Blair, speedskating

1993 - Michael Jordan, NBA

1993 - Sheryl Swoopes, basketball

1992 - Michael Jordan, NBA

1992 - Monica Seles, tennis

1991 - Michael Jordan, NBA

1991 - Monica Seles, tennis

1990 - Joe Montana, NFL

1990 - Beth Daniel, golf

1989 - Joe Montana, NFL

1989 - Steffi Graf, tennis

1988 - Orel Hershiser, MLB

1988 - Florence Griffith Joyner, track & field

1987 - Ben Johnson, track & field

1987 - Jackie Joyner-Kersee, track & field

1986 - Larry Bird, NBA

1986 - Martina Navratilova, tennis

1985 - Dwight Gooden, MLB

1985 - Nancy Lopez, golf

1984 - Carl Lewis, track & field

1984 - Mary Lou Retton, gymnastics

1983 - Carl Lewis, track & field

1983 - Martina Navratilova, tennis

1982 - Wayne Gretzky, NHL

1982 - Mary Decker Tabb, track

1981 - John McEnroe, tennis

1981 - Tracy Austin, tennis-x

1980 - US Olympic Hockey Team, hockey

1980 - Chris Evert Lloyd, tennis

1979 - Willie Stargell, MLB

1979 - Tracy Austin, tennis

1978 - Ron Guidry, MLB

1978 - Nancy Lopez, golf

1977 - Steve Cauthen, horse racing

1977 - Chris Evert, tennis

1976 - Bruce Jenner, track & field

1976 - Nadia Comaneci, gymnastics

1975 - Fred Lynn, MLB

1975 - Chris Evert, tennis

1974 - Muhammad Ali, boxing

1974 - Chris Evert, tennis

1973 - O. J. Simpson, NFL

1973 - Billie Jean King, tennis

1972 - Mark Spitz, swimming

1972 - Olga Korbut, gymnastics

1971 - Lee Trevino, golf

1971 - Evonne Goolagong, tennis

1970 - George Blanda, NFL

1970 - Chi Cheng, track

1969 - Tom Seaver, MLB

1969 - Debbie Meyer, swimming

1968 - Denny McLain, MLB

1968 - Peggy Fleming, figure skating

1967 - Carl Yastrzemski, MLB

1967 - Billie Jean King, tennis

1966 - Frank Robinson, MLB

1966 - Kathy Whitworth, golf

1965 - Sandy Koufax, MLB

1965 - Kathy Whitworth, golf

1964 - Don Schollander, swimming

1964 - Mickey Wright, golf

1963 - Sandy Koufax, MLB

1963 - Mickey Wright, golf

1962 - Maury Wills, MLB

1962 - Dawn Fraser, swimming

1961 - Roger Maris, MLB

1961 - Wilma Rudolph, track

1960 - Rafer Johnson, track & field

1960 - Wilma Rudolph, track

1959 - Ingemar Johansson, boxing

1959 - Maria Bueno, tennis

1958 - Herb Elliott, track & field

1958 - Althea Gibson, tennis

1957 - Ted Williams, MLB

1957 - Althea Gibson, tennis

1956 - Mickey Mantle, MLB

1956 - Pat McCormick, diving

1955 - Howard "Hopalong" Cassady, college football

1955 - Patty Berg, golf

1954 - Willie Mays, MLB

1954 - Babe Didrikson Zaharias, golf

1953 - Ben Hogan, golf

1953 - Maureen Connolly, tennis

1952 - Bob Mathias, track & field

1952 - Maureen Connolly, tennis

1951 - Dick Kazmaier, college football

1951 - Maureen Connolly, tennis

1950 - Jim Konstanty, MLB

1950 - Babe Didrikson Zaharias, golf

1949 - Leon Hart, college football

1949 - Marlene Bauer, golf

1948 - Lou Boudreau, MLB

1948 - Fanny Blankers-Koen, track

1947 - Johnny Lujack, college football

1947 - Babe Didrikson Zaharias, golf

1946 - Glenn Davis, college football

1946 - Babe Didrikson Zaharias, golf

1945 - Byron Nelson, golf

1945 - Babe Didrikson Zaharias, golf-x

1944 - Byron Nelson, golf

1944 - Ann Curtis, swimming

1943 - Gunder Hägg, track & field

1943 - Patty Berg, golf

1942 - Frank Sinkwich, college football

1942 - Gloria Callen, swimming

1941 - Joe DiMaggio, MLB

1941 - Betty Hicks Newell, golf

1940 - Tom Harmon, college football

1940 - Alice Marble, tennis

1939 - Nile Kinnick, college football

1939 - Alice Marble, tennis

1938 - Don Budge, tennis

1938 - Patty Berg, golf

1937 - Don Budge, tennis

1937 - Katherine Rawls, swimming

1936 - Jesse Owens, track & field

1936 - Helen Stephens, track-x

1935 - Joe Louis, boxing

1935 - Helen Wills Moody, tennis

1934 - Dizzy Dean, MLB

1934 - Virginia Van Wie, golf

1933 - Carl Hubbell, MLB

1933 - Helen Jacobs, tennis

1932 - Gene Sarazen, golf

1932 - Babe Didrikson, track

1931 - Pepper Martin, MLB

1931 - Helene Madison, swimming

 

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