Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Mary Abigail "Abby" Wambach is a professional soccer player. Born on June 2, 1980 in Pittsford, New York, the 5 foot 11 inch (1.80 m) forward began her career in Rochester, New York. Following up on a stellar high school record where she was the recipient of both the NSCAA and Umbro player of the year awards (in 1998), Wambach went on to achieve continuing success playing for the University of Florida Gators. Wambach continued to earn accolades in college, taking the NSCAA first team all-american, NCAA National Championship, and freshman All-American Awards (all in 1999). She is also the University of Florida's all-time leading scorer.
Wambach was the second overall draft pick in the WUSA in 2002. She went on to play for the Washington Freedom rather than completing her degree at Florida. Her contributions while in Washington, playing alongside greats like Mia Hamm, helped to propel the Freedom to a victory in Founders Cup III, where Wambach was the game MVP. Wambach was also the recipient of a number of other soccer-related awards during her WUSA career.
Wambach's impressive WUSA credentials earned her a spot in the US Women's National Team's training camp. Initially thought to be a bubble player , she increased her fitness, and her talents sealed her position with the 2003 World Cup team. Although the US Women did not win the 2003 World Cup (having taken home a bronze), she scored a historic goal against arch-rival Norway , blanking them in the quarterfinals and securing the US a position in the semifinals.
Since the suspension of the WUSA, Wambach has been training with the US Womens National Team for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, which they won on her header in extra time against Brazil, 2-1. She has also been participating in exhibition games with the Freedom to raise awareness and garner support for Women's Soccer in hopes of reviving the league.
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