Washington Star Athlete Uses Athletics to Empower Female Students


Toby Wilmet Wiedenmayer ’01, Field Hockey, Softball, Hall of Fame 2012 Inductee

Toby Wilmet Widenmayer

The best field hockey goalkeeper in Washington College history, Toby Wilmet Wiedenmayer ’01 built a career of achievements that will likely never be matched. She earned a long list of accolades, most notably being named NCAA Woman of the Year for the State of Maryland her senior year. Also a fine softball player, she was inducted into Washington’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012 for both sports. 

As one of a family of four sisters, all of whom work in education, Wiedenmayer knows the power of investing in girls from her personal experience as a student-athlete and from a career spent giving others the opportunities she had. During an 18-year tenure with a Reno, Nevada charter school, first as a teacher then as principal, she helped students see themselves differently through the introduction of sports and other opportunities.  

“Sports are an equalizer and create paths for female empowerment,” she says.  

With talent that would stand out at any level, Wiedenmeyer chose Division III for the quality of life it offered a two-sport athlete. Her older sister, Rachel Boyle, had become assistant to Washington’s Sarah Feyerherm, and field hockey had become one of the most popular fall sports on campus after the team made the NCAA National Tournament the previous year. 

“I came in as a freshman with the immediate opportunity to play,” says Wiedenmeyer, whose aggressive style was a gamechanger. “I’d come out of the goal and challenge players one-on-one. Being aggressive, my team rallied around me. It was special.”  

The team made the NCAA tournament again her freshman year in part because of Wiedenmayer’s style of play. But she had actually been a reluctant youth hockey player. Her no-holds-barred approach was first developed in softball.  

“I was a catcher and liked being in the gear, even in T-Ball,” she says. “I didn’t love hockey until they moved me to goalkeeper. I was fearless in softball and brought that to hockey.” 


Her results speak for themselves: 22 career shutouts in hockey, boasting eight in one season (both records still stand); 15 stolen bases denied in softball over just three seasons. Missing her junior softball season for a semester studying archaeology at South Africa’s Rhodes University, she put her time to good use, playing field hockey for the university, making the regional team, and competing in that country’s national tournament.  

As a female athlete at Washington, Wiedenmayer “felt very empowered. There was a sisterhood,” she says, “and our teams were well taken care of.” It was a position she did not take for granted. As a field hockey prospect, she had attended competitive camps run by Title IX pioneers. “Those strong women created a space where we could thrive,” she says. 

As she has throughout her career, Wiedenmayer is continuing to seek ways to continue that legacy of making space for the next generation. She relocated to her native Pennsylvania last year to be closer to family and returned to the classroom. Just as she did in Nevada, she sees sports as a powerful tool to help the girls she is teaching. 

“It’s a unique privilege to see students grow into their best selves through wins and losses,” she says. “Sport teaches you to do what you’re passionate about. If you love what you’re doing, you want to work at it. And it will bring you joy.”