Mia Ammons received her Enumclaw High diploma in 2022, packed her bags and carried her considerable soccer skills roughly 1,800 miles from home. Now, following an abbreviated stay in the American Heartland, she is back, living and playing in the Pacific time zone.
One of the top female soccer recruits to come out of EHS in recent memory, Ammons initially committed to William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Following a seemingly successful season on the pitch for the Statesmen and less than a full school year in the classroom, Ammons decided that the Hawkeye State simply wasn’t for her.
“I just didn’t feel like it was the right fit for me anymore,” she said during a phone interview last week.
Seeking something a bit closer to home, Ammons mentioned Southern Oregon University as a possible landing spot. Her roommate at William Penn knew something of the SOU program and offered a positive recommendation.
Contacts were made, Ammons visited the campus in Ashland, Oregon, and was released from her scholarship at William Penn. She enrolled at Southern Oregon in the spring of this year. That provided an opportunity to get to know her new teammates and participate in 10 “friendlies” (soccer parlance for games that do not show up in any official record).
“It was a little hard coming in late,” she said of the decision to join the Raiders during the spring, long after the fall season had concluded. There were some bumps in the road, she said, while adapting to a different system and a new group of teammates. But she’s confident those obstacles will disappear with time.
Ammons was a noted scorer during her Hornet days and that’s where she sees herself heading with the Raiders. She’s not sure how the coming season will play out, whether she will be in the starting lineup or coming off the bench. But she figures the coaching staff wants her to continue in an attacking role.
Ammons returned last week to Ashland – a city of about 22,000 residents that sits 15 miles from the California border – and has joined her teammates for two-a-day practice sessions. The Raiders will get a taste of game-type action when they head to Arcata, California, for an Aug. 17 scrimmage with Cal Poly Humboldt.
The season kicks off in earnest Aug. 20 when Southern Oregon hosts Simpson University. The following week brings a trip to Caldwell, Idaho, for an Aug. 22 game against Jessup University and an Aug. 24 contest with Embry-Riddle. All three are nonleague contests.
SOU competes at the NAIA level and is a member of the 14-team Cascade Collegiate Conference (but only 13 offer women’s soccer). Of those 13, seven are located in Oregon, three in Montana, two in Washington and a lone entry in Idaho.
During the 2022 season, coach Jenni Rosenberg guided the Raiders to a second-place finish in the conference with a record of 9-1-2 and an overall mark of 11-5-3, qualifying the team for the CCC postseason tournament.
Before jumping to the collegiate level Ammons left a mighty impression on the Enumclaw Hornet soccer program, earning the league’s Offensive Most Valuable Player honor at the close of her senior season. The accolade came courtesy of a vote of South Puget Sound League 2A coaches.