Abby Wambach wins AP's award

December, 20, 2011
12/20/11
12:52
PM PT

Hermosa Beach's Abby Wambach is The Associated Press' Sportswoman of the Year after leading the U.S. to last summer's Women's World Cup title game.


Wambach, 31, received 65 of 214 votes, with teammate Hope Solo finishing second with 38. She's the first soccer player to win the honor individually, although the full U.S. national women's team won after claiming the 1999 Women's World Cup title.

She scored four goals as the Americans drove to the WWC final in Germany, where they were upset on penalties by Japan, including a dramatic equalizer deep into stoppage in overtime against Brazil in the quarterfinals. She led the team with eight goals for the year, giving her 125 in the international game, fourth all-time behind Mia Hamm (158), Kristine Lilly (130) and German star Birgit Prinz (128).

Wambach also scored nine goals in 11 games for magicJack, a since-expelled WPS club in Florida that she also coached the latter part of the season.

Wambach earlier this fall won the Women's Sports Foundation's Sportswoman of the Year for team sports, and she is a finalist for the FIFA's Ballon d'Or player-of-the-year award and expected to repeat as U.S. Soccer's Female Athlete of the Year, an honor she has won four times.

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