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Mercy honors Abby Wambach
Brighton, N.Y. - Better than gold, Abby Wambach's name is now attached to the soccer field from which she rose to fame.
Our Lady of Mercy School renamed its athletic complex the Abbly Wambach 98 Field.
Honored at the dedication ceremony Friday night, the 34-year-old soccer star said when she reflects back on who helped her get to where shes at today, she thinks of her family and Mercy High School, where she graduated in 1998.
Yes, Ive won Olympic Gold Medals but its more important to be a good person and to be good to your community and be good to the people you love and your family and your friends. Wambach said those are lessons shes learned at the all-girls Catholic school.
I feel so proud to see someone that's just like us up there and just seeing that maybe one day we can be like her, said Melissa Cook, a junior on Mercys soccer team.
Wambachs name will be printed up in the score board next year. I truly hope that somebody who comes through these hallways at Mercy sees that name on the score board and dreams bigger than they ever thought possible because that's what it's all about, Wambach said.
I hope it gives you the inspiration to one up me, when the crowd snickered Wambach said, Im serious, I dont want to ever be someones shadow I want you girls to believe in yourselves.
Wambach said she hopes the field will inspire future players not to be like her but to be better. Know what motivates you, find a passion, find something you love and blow every record Ive set out of the water. With a 167 goals to her name, Wambach is listed in the record books at the greatest goal-scorer in international soccer history.
Mercy player Julie Prentice said, I think seeing her name up there will really motivate us to just keep going because you know anything is possible. Players said Wambach is a role model who motivates them on and off the field.
Cook said, Just seeing her and like knowing that she actually cares about us and wants us to succeed in everything we do its just very important for her to come back here and its very touching for us.
For Wambach, her school and that field will always feel like home, especially now with the name change. For this honor I am beyond moved and I hope that you enjoy this complex because I'll be here for many, many games in the future.