Villanova University

Villanova University Athletics
Jake Nevin Fieldhouse - 800 E Lancaster Ave Villanova, PA 19085
Division 1 Pennsylvania Northeast
Private Medium Competitive team


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Jill Batcheller

Jill Batcheller was named the head coach of the women’s lacrosse team on June 26, 2021. Batcheller previously spent three seasons as head coach at Drexel University and six seasons at Bryant University.

While coaching the Dragons, she posted a 24-15 overall record in three seasons. After two seasons of rebuilding, Batcheller led Drexel to a 13-3 overall mark, a berth in the CAA championship game, an at large bid to the NCAA Tournament and the program’s first-ever top-10 national ranking. The 2021 season marked the first-ever appearance in both the conference title game and the NCAA Tournament for Drexel.

For her efforts during the 2021 season Batcheller became the first Drexel women's lacrosse coach to earn CAA Coach of the Year honors. She was also instrumental in helping Karson Harris garner CAA Player of the Year distinction and Zoe Bennett earn CAA Goalkeeper of the Year accolades. A total of nine dragons earned All-CAA honors for their on-field performances in 2021. In addition, Harris and Colleen Grady were named to the IWLCA All-American second and third teams becoming the first Drexel players to claim All-America honors in the same year.

Prior to her stint at Drexel, Batcheller spent six years as the head coach at Bryant University from 2013-18 where she led the Bulldogs to three NEC conference championships, five straight NEC regular season titles from 2014-18 and an overall record of 77-33 (.600).

She began her coaching career at Saint Joseph's University as an assistant from 2008-09 before moving on to Brown University as the top assistant from 2010-12.

Batcheller is a 2007 graduate of Syracuse University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sport Management and was a four-year starting midfielder for the Orange. She became the eighth player in school history to reach 100 career points, leading the program to its first Big East championship in 2007. Batcheller went on to receive a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Saint Joseph's in 2009.

A native of the Philadelphia area, Batcheller played high school lacrosse at Archbishop Carroll High School in Radnor, Pa.

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Kelsea Donnelly

Villanova University head women’s lacrosse coach Jill Batcheller announced the hiring of Kelsea Donnelly as assistant coach on August 20.

Donnelly joins the Wildcat coaching staff after previously serving as assistant coach under Batcheller for the last six years, at Drexel University and Bryant University. While at Drexel, she worked directly with the team’s starting goalie Zoe Bennett, who earned CAA Goalie of the Year and IWCLA DI All-Region First Team selection in 2021. In her two years at Bryant, she oversaw a group that posted back-to-back seasons allowing less than 10 goals per game.

During her collegiate career at Towson Donnelly was the starting goalkeeper from 2013-2015 and was twice named to the All-CAA First Team. In her three seasons as starting goalkeeper, she tallied 56 games and averaged a .470 save percentage and a goals against average of 8.8.

She also currently plays for the Baltimore Brave of the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League.

Donnelly earned her Master’s degree in Sports Administration from Liberty University in 2019 and Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from Towson in 2015.

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Madison Lesher

Villanova University head women’s lacrosse coach Jill Batcheller announced the hiring of Madison Lesher as assistant coach on August 20.

Lesher begins her first season on the Villanova coaching staff in 2021, after previously serving as assistant coach under Batcheller for the last six years, at Drexel University and Bryant University. In her third season with the Dragons, she directed a defensive effort that ranked 35th in the country, holding opponents to 11 goals per game and causing 7.19 turnovers per game. At Bryant, the team led the NEC in goals against average and save percentage in 2017 and finished second in the conference in 2018.

As a student-athlete, Lesher was a defender at Loyola (Md.) from 2013-2016. She was named the first ever three-time Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time defensive All-American.

She was drafted by the Baltimore Ride in the United Women's Lacrosse League draft in May 2016 and now plays for the Philadelphia Fire in the Women's Professional Lacrosse League.

Lesher earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communication from Loyola (Md.) in 2016.

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