HARRISON, N.J. - A buzz encompassed Red Bull Arena even before Abby Wambach stepped onto the pitch.
It only grew every time the striker, who entered Thursday night's friendly against South Korea two goals from Mia Hamm's all-time international record of 158, touched or even came near the soccer ball.
The buzz got even louder when Wambach made history during the U.S. women's national team's 5-0 victory. She finished with four goals, for a career international total of 160.
"I don't think about how I sit in history and the books," Wambach said. "What my legacy is, that is something that I care about. Something that has eluded me is that World Cup championship.
"I think every great athlete in these moments, you do have to separate yourself and really celebrate. I'm going to celebrate tonight with my friends and family. At the end of the day, tomorrow, the sun comes up and I still have to keep working on my game to get better."
In the game's 10th minute, Wambach received a feed from Lauren Cheney inside the 18-yard line, turned, and sent a shot low into the left corner of the net.
A little less than nine minutes later, Wambach accepted another feed from Cheney and headed it into the back of the net.
The crowd, announced at 18,961, roared as the Rochester, N.Y. native tied Hamm's record.
After the third Wambach goal of the evening, the buzz turned into pandemonium, as the 5-foot-11 Wambach became the leading goal-scorer in international history.
"I think she had her mind set. She wanted to do it tonight," said teammate Christie Rampone, who also was on the squad for Hamm's 158th goal.
By the time Wambach was subbed out in the 58th minute, the crowd was standing and cheering, while her teammates hugged and high-fived the forward as she walked to the bench.
"This is one of those where you kind of just want to pinch yourself every minute and every moment going through it," Wambach said. "Even sitting on the bench, who knew with 30 minutes left that I'd already have scored four goals and was getting a rest?"