Katie Facciola played college club lacrosse and now has a passion for bringing the game to those in the lacrosse ‘desert.’  In addition to coaching and being a small business owner, she serves as a clinician for the US Lacrosse Sankofa Clinic Series

Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Katie but throughout the lacrosse community most people know me as Foss. I grew up in a small town in Western North Carolina and I went to college at Appalachian State University where I got a degree in broadcast journalism. I started Foss Lacrosse in November 2019, which has been great timing. Check us out on Instagram @fosslacrossellc. I’m also the freshman lacrosse coach and assistant varsity coach at a high school and this is my real passion. I love sharing this sport that has done so much for me with others, building contagious passion, as I like to say. 

How did you get started in lacrosse?
I was up late flipping through channels and landed on ESPN. There it was, there was lacrosse and I thought it looked so fun. I knew I had to play. I asked my parents if I could play. They did some research and found that the closest club team was three hours away. So, when I went to college and they had a club team, I knew I had to get involved. I signed up the first day I was on campus.   

How do you give back to the sport of lacrosse?
I'm a Sankofa clinician which is a US Lacrosse program that focuses on bringing the sport to lacrosse deserts, which are communities where lacrosse isn't readily available to kids. We bring them equipment and provide a clinic with coaches from all across the United States with all different kinds of backgrounds. During these clinics we are coaching some kids with very little experience and others who are advanced players. Our goal during the clinic is to make lacrosse approachable and accessible when it may have otherwise not been. Having grown up in a lacrosse desert myself, it’s so rewarding to share something I love with somebody who may not have had the opportunity to play. 

How long have you been coaching the sport of lacrosse?
I started coaching lacrosse in 2014. I started my coaching career at MetroLacrosse in Boston. I coached there for a couple of years while also coaching high school teams in the greater Boston area. I am now the freshman coach at Reading (Mass.) Memorial High School and I've been here for six seasons. 

How did the cancelling of the season affect you and your team, and how have you kept yourself and your team motivated through these tough times?
As I said before, coaching is my passion so having that part of my life taken away has been really challenging and I definitely missed working with those kids, sharing lacrosse, and building team spirit. It's hard to say how canceling of the season affected my team because I am a freshman coach so I hadn't had the opportunity to meet my team yet, but I know that it really affected some of the seniors on the varsity team. They missed the opportunity to discover what this season had in store for them and just really enjoy their last season as high school athletes. 

You have a large social media presence on Instagram (@fossyhola) and your string work is very impressive. How has social media helped you in your stringing business?
Thank you so much. When I started @fossyhola I was honestly just doing it for fun. I was learning a new skill and I saw a need for someone who understood stinging for women’s lacrosse. I had no idea the page would become so popular, but I am so grateful for the opportunities that have come from it. I feel that through this page my passion opened beyond just lacrosse as a sport and into what makes it possible, the equipment. Not to mention that most, if not all, of my early clients found me through @fossyhola. It has become a portfolio of my work. People know that then they come to me they are going to get quality stringing and honest equipment reviews. Odie, my dog, best friend, and logo art inspiration, is my rating system, 1-10 Odies. You have to earn the Odies.

What convinced you to start a lacrosse stringing company?
I saw the need for women’s stringers because as a woman I understand how to string a women's lacrosse stick. It just so happens that I'm also a great men's stringer.

What makes your business unique from others? 
My shop was designed for lacrosse nerds by lacrosse nerds.  Also, I currently have only female employees as well as myself, being a woman owner. I think it is a different atmosphere with myself being the owner, because of how much I actually love the sport and have my thumb on the pulse of the sport.  Which allows me to adjust the inventory accordingly.

Why did you decide to become a Sankofa Clinician?
I was a part of the Urban Lacrosse Alliance in 2017 and the program got brought up and I was instantly intrigued. I loved the idea of bringing lacrosse to areas that didn’t have it and introducing kids to the amazing sport of lacrosse.  Something that I wish I had when I was younger.  

What does the growth and diversity of the sport of lacrosse mean to you? 
It is very important to me to diversify our sport and grow the game.  The sport of lacrosse is and should be for everyone and I would never want any barriers to impede a child’s participation in that game.  I want people to feel welcome when they step onto a field.

How do you encourage people to engage in conversations about diversity and inclusion?
By not being afraid to have the conversation and to lift up the voices of people that need to be heard.

What do you do in your leisure?
I have a fair amount of hobbies. I love playing guitar and music in general. I love photography and videography. I play a lot of board games and love Netflix. And in the spring, summer or fall, if you don’t see me on the lacrosse field, you will most likely find me hiking, camping, backpacking or fishing.

Are there any encouraging words you have for young women trying to start their own business? 
There comes a point where you just need to leap blindly and understand you will fall a little bit.  But go into it with confidence in what you know and what you love to do.  Prepare yourself for the business aspect of it and most Importantly do something you love to do and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.