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Abby Wambach becomes the third soccer player to be inducted into the Gator Athletic Hall of Fame Friday.

Thursday April 5, 2012World Soccer Star Abby Wambach Joins Gator Athletic Hall of Fame Friday

Gainesville, Fla.

Abby Wambach becomes the third soccer player to be inducted into the Gator Athletic Hall of Fame Friday.

Before she was bringing a nation to its feet celebrating her clutch goals on soccer’s biggest stage, this Gator was scoring goals to the cheers of Florida fans.

Wambach's Collegiate Honors as a Gator

● 2001 & 1999 NSCAA All-American

 2001, 2000, 1999 & 1998 All-American

 2001, 2000, 1999 & 1998 All-Southeastern Conference team

● 1999 SEC All-Tournament team

● 2001, 2000 SEC Player of the Year

● 2001, 2000 SEC Tournament MVP

Wambach’s U.S. National Team Highlights

●Second all-time leading scorer in women’s international soccer history. Her 134 goals for the U.S. National Team is second only to Mia Hamm (158)

●Headed in overtime game-winner to give U.S. 2004 Olympic gold

●Part of U.S.’s 2003, 2007 and 2011 FIFA World Cup teams

●2011, 2010, 2007, 2004, 2003 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year

●Led the U.S. in scoring in every world championship she has competed – her 13 career World Cup goals tops the all-time list

Star of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup and 2011 Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year winner Abby Wambach will be inducted Friday into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame. The standout Florida soccer player will be honored at the UF Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony held at the Holloway Touchdown Terrace.

Wambach was a regular starter in all four years of her collegiate career. She was part of Florida’s 1998 NCAA champion team and the Gators claimed the Southeastern Conference title each year she wore the orange & blue. She is the Gators' and SEC career leader in goals (96), assists (50) and points (242).

 

She was twice named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-America team (2001, 1999) and earned All-SEC and All-America honors every year. Wambach also garnered the 2000 and 2001 SEC Soccer Tournament’s Most Valuable Player and SEC Player of the Year awards, becoming the first player in league history to win player of the year or tournament MVP honors in consecutive seasons. In her senior season, she was a finalist for all national player of the year awards – Hermann, Missouri Athletic Club, Honda and SoccerBuzz.com.

Wambach was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2002 WUSA (women’s professional soccer league that ended in 2003) draft – matching the highest selection by any Gator athlete in a professional draft. She was a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, heading in the overtime game-winner versus Brazil to give the U.S. the gold medal. She has scored 134 goals for the U.S. Women’s National Team, placing her second on the U.S. career list behind Mia Hamm.

Wambach again made headlines last summer as she led the U.S. National Team to the FIFA World Cup final. She provided the U.S. with key goals in 2011 World Cup quarterfinal, semifinal and final play. Considered one of the world’s most dangerous strikers, it was Wambach who scored a header goal in stoppage time after the 120th minute – marking the latest goal ever scored in men’s or women’s World Cup play – to tie the quarterfinal match versus Brazil. The U.S. moved to the semifinal round with a 5-3 advantage in penalty kicks. Wambach gave the U.S. a 2-1 lead with her goal in the first overtime in the final versus Japan, but the match was tied again in the second overtime period. Japan claimed the Cup with a 3-1 PK advantage. 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.

Following her stellar performance, she was named the AP Female Athlete of the Year, becoming the first individual soccer player – male or female – to pick up the AP sport honor in its 81-year history.

She joins 1998 National Championship teammates Erin-Baxter McCorkle and Danielle Fotopoulos as the third Florida soccer player to be inducted into the UF Athletic Hall of Fame. Athletes become eligible for the Hall of Fame 10 years after they have completed their collegiate career. The Gator soccer team began play in 1995.

 

Wambach will miss the UF Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony as she is out of the country with the U.S. National Team.

 

 

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