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The Broncos who inspired a Gator

Thursday, Jul. 14, 2011

USA Women's soccer star of the week Abby Wambach may bleed Gator orange, but she was motivated and inspired by some Bronco red.

Abby Wambach

The last time the women’s USA soccer team was in the World Cup finals, the world witnessed Brandi Chastain’s ’91 score a game-winning penalty kick against China. With team USA only days away from taking the championship field yet again, power forward and former Florida Gator Abby Wambach is the one who scored the last-minute header goal against Brazil this week.


While there’s not an SCU presence on the team, there is an influence, at least as Wambach tells it: In a recent interview she paid tribute to a few folks who've inspired and helped her  throughout her career -- including SCU power couple Jerry Smith and Brandi Chastain.

Smith, who serves as head coach for SCU women’s soccer team, was Wambach’s Under-21 National Team coach. He was the one, her website notes, “who convinced her that, with a lot of hard work, she could earn a spot on the senior national team.” Also, Wambach said, “as role models, the people I looked up to were Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Brandi Chastain, and obviously Kristine (Lilly). They paved the way for me to have an opportunity.”

Posted by Jon Teel '12

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Tags: Abby Wambach, Brandi Chastain, Jerry Smith, soccer, World Cup 2011

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