Women of Western Winners: Ava Kimche

Women of Western Winners: Ava Kimche

Ava Kimche is a talented goalie entering her junior season at Park City high school in Utah. She has already committed to playing at Columbia and competing against Ivy League competition.

We caught up with Ava to talk about her experiences at Western Winners and how it has helped her become a Division 1 scholar-athlete

What is your favorite Western Winners Showcase memory?

Ava Kimche: I loved my first Western Winners in 2017 in California. I remember walking to the fields with all of these girls and amazing coaches and just having one of those “wow, this is so cool” moments. Every year, I continue to enjoy the personal interactions that I can have, with old teammates, new friends, and the incredible coaches.

How did Western Winners impact your recruiting journey?

AK: I am from Park City, Utah. Without the Western Winners Showcase, I doubt I would have been recruited. There are just not the opportunities for athletes like me from “small” lacrosse areas to get noticed.  WW gave me the opportunity to showcase my skills in front of a large group of coaches and participate with girls from around the country.  It gave me the exposure and opportunity I wanted to be competitive and get noticed.

What is your favorite lacrosse memory so far?

AK: I am an adrenaline junky and I love the goalie position. It is always such a rush to make a save!  I also enjoy being able to see the game and help direct my teammates for successful defense and playmaking.  No matter what happens, we win or lose as a team, and I love being part of something bigger than myself.

What is one thing you still use to this day from your Western Winners experience?

AK: I learned how impactful my voice should be from playing at Western Winners.  Because I can view the overall field and game from my position; my voice is important and crucial to the team’s success. That was a valuable lesson that has impacted every game I have played in since.

What are your personal and team goals for your upcoming high school season?

AK: I continually strive to be a better leader on the field and want to use more direct communication. My team goal for my high school is to have fun, work hard and go back to the State Championships.

Why are you excited to come back to Western Winners?

AK: It is always great to have an opportunity to work with NCAA coaches and play against high-level competition to improve your skills. It is especially helpful before the summer tournament season begins!

Why did you choose Columbia?

AK: There are so many reasons why I chose Columbia and I feel lucky that Columbia chose me! The outstanding academics speak for itself, but the team culture that Coach Murray has cultivated made a huge impact on me.  Coaches Murray, Larson and Nee were personable and welcoming. The girls currently on the team were friendly and truly invested in the recruiting process and spending the time on who would be part of the future of Columbia Sports. I wanted to be a part of that family and team.

What are you looking forward to the most at Columbia?

AK: I mostly look forward to being at an outstanding academic institution, making great friendships with my teammates, and being able to compete at a high level. I’m excited to experience going to school in New York City!

Her mother, Stefani, also talked to us about her daughter’s experience at Western Winners, how it impacted her throughout her career and offered advice to any parents going to recruiting process:

Why did you initially choose to send your daughter to Western Winners?

SK: When you are in a non-traditional lacrosse area, it is hard to find opportunities for your daughter to get exposure.  Western Winners offered an amazing solution: a solid list of coaches from outstanding academic institutions and a great gathering of girls from around the country. The drill rotations and game formats gave Ava many opportunities to connect directly with these groups.

How do you think your daughter benefitted from their experience at Western Winners?

SK: There are so many great benefits from participating in WW! Outstanding coaches and great competition allowed her to elevate her game and she has made connections and friends that have continued throughout the years. Lastly, the opportunity for direct communications with the attending coaches gave her confidence and a foundation to build upon with future communications.

How do you think Western Winners helped in your daughter’s decision-making process as they were being recruited?

SK: It was impossible to consider attending all the individual camps at the schools Ava was interested in.  WW allowed her to meet and interact with a variety of coaches in one setting. From there, it was easier to get a grasp on where she might be a recruiting candidate. Without that comprehensive exposure, she would not have been able to concentrate on the schools that were viable possibilities. The opportunity for direct communication and interaction with the attending coaches was invaluable. It gave her confidence and a platform to begin future dialogue.

What advice do you have for parents going through the recruiting process?

SK: Ava is the third of our three children who are/will be an NCAA athlete. There are a lot of ups and downs associated with the entire process so from my personal perspective; Stay positive. Things will work out!

Thank you to the Kimche Family! We look forward to seeing Ava star at the Winners Showcase and seeing her play at Columbia in the future!