She was on the starting lineup in six of the seven games in which she played the same year.
After the United States finished third at the tournament, they traveled to Italy to vie for a place at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in the UEFA-CONCACAF play-off against Italy.
She was named NSCAA First Team All-American and was on the Soccer America First Team Freshman All-America.
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Rapinoe is internationally known for her crafty style of play and her precise cross to Abby Wambach in the 122nd minute of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup quarterfinals against Brazil, which resulted in an equalizer goal and eventual win for the Americans after a penalty kick shootout.
The last-minute goal set a record for latest goal ever scored in a match and was awarded ESPN's 2011 ESPY Award for Best Play of the Year.
She was also named to the All-West Coast Conference First Team and the All-West Coast Conference Freshman Team.
Rapinoe played and started all 25 games as an attacking midfielder, scoring 15 goals and adding 13 assists for 43 points – ranking fifth for freshman point totals in the school's history."I know this sounds weird, but getting hurt was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Before, everything was going how it was supposed to be and I wasn't really appreciative of what I was doing and what it took to be there. The rehab process makes you stronger on all fronts, mentally and physically. I would never wish it on anyone, but I don't wish I could take it back." As a sophomore in 2006, Rapinoe was among the nation's leading scorers with ten goals and two assists in eleven matches.
With the addition of Rapinoe, her national team and former Seattle Sounders Women teammate, Hope Solo, and some lineup changes to the front line, the Reign improved their goal-scoring ability and turned their league record around.