Abby Wambach June 2013Abby Wambach, a 33-year-old native of Rochester, New York, became the all-time leading scorer in international soccer history on Thursday.

Wambach scored four times for the U.S. Women’s National Team in a 5-0 whitewash of South Korea at Harrison, New Jersey’s Red Bull Arena in front of 19,000 screaming fans. The four goals, which were all scored in the game’s first half, gave Wambach a total of 160 in her 207-game international career.

Her former American teammate, Mia Hamm, was the previous record holder with 158 goals in 275 games. Hamm retired from the sport in 2004. Hamm is the top scorer in all of soccer when it comes to international games. The leading scorer in the men’s game with 109 is Ali Daie of Iran.

After the game, Wambach said it’s a great feeling to be recognized for her scoring prowess, but she is still trying to improve as a player each and every day and wants to win a World Cup title with her teammates before retiring.

She said she’ll certainly celebrate the record with her family and friends and will then get back to work and keep trying to get better as a soccer player. Wambach added that all of the world’s best athletes don’t rest on their laurels as they all try to find something new to achieve.

Wambach entered the game needing just a pair of goals to tie Hamm’s record, but she had already broken the mark by the 29th minute when she completed a first-half hat trick. She added the 160th of her career seconds before the half came to an end. Wambach, who was a teammate of Hamm’s in the early days of her international career, said she looks up to Hamm and was glad she was in the stadium to see her record broken.

Hamm returned the warm feelings by saying that she’s proud of Wambach’s achievement. She said Wambach is always fighting for the ball and shows great determination, strength and courage in her game and that’s why she has been and will continue to be so successful on the soccer pitch. Hamm added that Wambach always wants to win and she’s glad she was on hand to witness the historic event.

Wambach set the record when she scored on a header off of a corner kick by Megan Rapinoe. The crowd went crazy when it realized what they had seen and the referee took the historic ball to the American bench. Wambach then blew a kiss towards her parents in the stands and celebrated with her teammates while the fans chanted her name.

The four goals in a game were quite an accomplishment in itself, but she once scored five in a game. She could have had five in this game, too, but was stopped on a clear cut breakaway in the first half.

Christie Rampone, the American women’s captain, said Wambach’s performance was simply amazing and head coach Tom Sermanni agreed. Sermanni said the night was like a fairy tale come true and she broke the record in style by scoring four goals in just 45 minutes of play.


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