US women's soccer: Wambach plays, scores in 200th international match

2013-02-14T00:00:00Z US women's soccer: Wambach plays, scores in 200th international matchThe Associated Press The Associated Press
February 14, 2013 12:00 am  • 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Coach Tom Sermanni told Abby Wambach she wasn't coming out against Scotland until she scored.

After all, you need a little something special to mark a milestone.

Wambach scored on a diving header in the 51st minute, and the U.S. women's soccer team beat Scotland 3-1 on Wednesday night to give Wambach a victory in her 200th international match.

"It's great," Sermanni said about Wambach's latest career mark. "I mean what a career and still continuing. Every game that Abby plays she either scores or she's in the mix and creates so many chances and opportunities that stuff happens for other players. I think it's a great way for her to celebrate her 200th game."

Wambach became the eighth American to play at least 200 games for the national team, and she served as captain for the game in honor of the milestone. Her teammates kept trying to set up the 2012 FIFA Player of the Year, and Wambach finally converted when Sydney Leroux passed to Wambach just in front for her 153rd career goal and 63rd on a header.

For Wambach, that pass was only fitting since it came from Leroux, her roommate and a teammate she has watched grow up on the women's national team.

"I think it might've been a little offsides to be honest that goal," Wambach said. "I'm not complaining."

Wambach went to the bench in the 61st minute, waving her hand to the fans who gave her a big ovation.

Megan Rapinoe and Christen Press also scored as the Americans gave Sermanni his second victory in five days against his native Scotland. Sermanni coached Australia the past eight years, leading the Matildas to the quarterfinals of the last two Women's World Cups.

The U.S. women's national team set an attendance mark in the state of Tennessee with 14,224 turning out on a cold night when the temperature was 40 degrees at the start at LP Field, home of the NFL's Tennessee Titans. That topped the 13,081 who turned out in 1997 in Chattanooga for a 3-1 win over Sweden.

"Playing in a big stadium like this, it can feel big if the crowd isn't into it," Rapinoe said. "But this crowd was great. I think it got behind us, and obviously getting a goal in the first half was big. Gave them something to cheer about. Rowdy enough for me."

Rapinoe did not play in Saturday's 4-1 win over Scotland in Jacksonville after joining the team late due to her commitment playing in Lyon, France. She made up for her absence by putting the Americans up 1-0 when she scored at the end of the 21st minute from 15 yards.

Scotland started the game going with just one forward, Jane Ross, and five defenders after giving up four goals to the Americans in Jacksonville.

The Scots kept the play in front of keeper Hope Solo for the opening minutes. The Americans didn't get their first chance to score until the 10th minute only to have Sydney Leroux's cross broken up in the box.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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