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Abby Wambach Easily Claims Female Athlete of the Year

Friedemann Vogel, Getty Images
Friedemann Vogel, Getty Images

World Cup star Abby Wambach handily claimed Female Athlete of the Year honors for 2011, as voted on by members of The Associated Press.

Wambach stared in the Women’s World Cup, scoring an improbable header in the final seconds of the quarterfinal match-up which led to a win for the American squad, and sparked a nationwide frenzy stateside that’s really seen for women’s sports.

The 31-year-old forward won the award handily, receiving 65 of the 214 votes cast. Teammate Hope Solo (38 votes) was a distant second and UConn basketball player Maya Moore (35) was third.

Wambach is the first individual soccer player — man or woman — to win one of the AP’s annual athlete awards, which began in 1931. The U.S. women’s team won in 1999, when their World Cup triumph at the Rose Bowl swept the nation.

Wambach now has 13 goals in three World Cup appearances, which is most by any American and third on the all-time scoring list.

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