Historic Season

October 25, 2021

The women’s soccer team will face Greensboro College in the program's first-ever conference championship tournament.

The women’s soccer program just made MBU history: The team will compete in the conference championship tournament for the first time since its creation in 2006. They square off at home against Greensboro College at SMA Worth Field this Tuesday at 2 p.m. 

“This is a huge accomplishment,” said head coach Amanda Evans. “I can’t say enough good things about these young women: They’ve worked incredibly hard to make this happen.” 

 

The women’s soccer team will face Greensboro College in the program's first-ever conference championship tournament.

The feat is made more impressive by the fact it comes just three years after the program was suspended for the 2017–18 academic year. The roster had dwindled to just 11 players by the close of the prior season — and the team had never won a conference game.  

Evans was tapped to help the Fighting Squirrels rebuild in 2018. By then she’d made a name for herself launching and overhauling NCAA Division III programs in the western United States.  Three years of aggressive recruiting combined with robust team-building, game improvement, and academic support programming to bring the winningest women’s soccer record in Mary Baldwin history (8-6-2). 

“Remarkably, we’ve done it with just five upperclassmen,” said Evans. On one hand, that’s meant younger players have had to step up in a big way. But the efforts should reap dividends: “We’re going to be insanely strong heading into next season.” 

Clockwise from left: Freshman right defender Teya Baptista battles for possession; standout sophomore midfielder Quierra Hawkins on a breakaway; star midfielder Shea Rider wins a header.

The squad has been led by scorers like 2020 All Conference junior forward Annie Ammons — who was named a USA South Player of the Week earlier this year — and sophomore midfielder Shea Rider. The defense is shored up by freshman goalkeeper Nyasia Hawkins, 2020 All Conference junior defender Sam Manfre, and sophomores Kiley Marston and Katie Hayes. 

Looking ahead to this Tuesday, Evans calls the home field advantage crucial. Last time MBU and Greensboro played, the match ended in a tie after double-overtime. If MBU supporters show up en masse it could give the Fighting Squirrels an edge. 

“This is a proud and important moment for Mary Baldwin athletics,” said Director of Athletics Tom Byrnes. He’s urging students, faculty, staff and locals to come out and cheer on the team for its history-making run at the title.  

Clockwise from upper left: Sophomore defender Katie Hayes steals a pass; junior goalkeeper Anyka Wilkin makes a save; star junior forward Annie Ammons takes a shot.

Admission is free for MBU students with an ID. Tickets for faculty, staff, other students, senior citizens, and children are $3; adults, $6.