Fresno State lacrosse standout Kara Concheck receives a pass during a Bulldogs practice. Photo by Katie Eleneke/The Collegian
The opportunity to play for a big name school was there, but for Kara Concheck, the challenge to help form a new lacrosse program at Fresno State had a greater appeal.
A Columbus, Ohio, native, Concheck played both lacrosse and basketball and earned first-team honors in lacrosse as a high school junior and senior. Concheck, a two-time offensive MVP in lacrosse, scored 126 goals as a senior, breaking an Ohio record.
The bigger known schools hoping to recruit Concheck were Ohio State, Dartmouth and Hofstra.
“I chose Fresno State because I wanted to be part of starting something new,” Concheck said. “I wanted to help build the foundation of the new lacrosse program. I thought that was really exciting.”
Concheck’s freshman year didn’t go as planned, as a stress fracture injury kept her off the field for most of the season. The support system around her was crucial in helping her overcome the injury, Concheck said.
“My teammates are better than any other teammates in college, and I love my coaching staff,” Concheck said.
As for Concheck’s family, who stayed in Columbus, they manage to come out and support her at most of her games. Concheck’s father is one of her biggest supporters and influences.
“My father has definitely influenced me the most in my life,” Concheck said. “He’s a great role model. He was a great collegiate athlete as well as a professional athlete. He played basketball, and he’s really motivated me to push myself and try to be the best in anything that I do.”
For this year, Concheck has set a number of team and personal goals to accomplish. The main goal for the team is to reach the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship. As for personal aspirations, Concheck hopes to get an academic all-conference award and score more goals than last year. Concheck already holds Fresno State’s all-time scoring record with 44 goals.
Fresno State coach Jessica Pausewang praised Concheck’s knowledge of the game and the way it’s benefited her.
Katie Concheck carries a ball toward the goal in Fresno State’s matchup against Denver. Photo by Matt Vieira/The Collegian
“I think her knowledge as a lacrosse player has grown so much, and it’s made her more confident in the field,” Pausewang said. “She’s a leader out there. She’s really finishing her shots, and I’m so proud to see her from when I first came to where she is now.”
Pausewang commended the work ethic and leadership that Concheck displays for the underclassmen.
“She’s a great leader for the underclassmen.” Pausewang said. “She is setting a really good example. She works hard on and off the field.”
Entering her final year, Concheck reflected positively on her experience at Fresno State.
“I’ve really grown as a person,” she said. “I’ve become more confident in myself. I’ve made amazing relationships that I will always carry with me. I’ve really grown into the person that I am because of the lacrosse program at Fresno State.”