Wambach’s rise to the top of the game didn’t take long. Just three years into her WNT career, she enjoyed one of the greatest years in U.S. Women’s National Team history, scoring 31 goals in the final 30 matches of the year. With the second-highest total in a calendar year by a U.S. player, Wambach became one of only five players to score 20 or more goals in a year, joining Mia Hamm, Michelle Akers, Kristine Lilly and Tiffeny Milbrett.
In 2013, Wambach broke Mia Hamm’s world-scoring record—a fellow FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year and all-around soccer legend—during her insane four-goal performance against the Korea Republic, where she also became the USA’s all-time leader in multiple-goal games with 43. Heading into the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup year, she already had 35 two-goal games, five hat tricks, two four-goal games and one five-goal game.