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New Villanova coach Batcheller adds former Drexel assistants Donnelly, Lesher to staff

Friday, 17th September 2021

Categories College, Girl's/Women's, Posted 9/17/21
From Press Release

Kelsea Donnelly

New Villanova women’s lacrosse coach Jill Batcheller (Archbishop Carroll) has announced the addition of two assistant coaches to her staff, Kelsea Donnelly and Maddison Lesher (Archbishop Carroll).

“I am beyond excited that Maddison and Kelsea will be joining me here at Villanova,” said Batcheller. “Our staff has been together for the past six years so there is so much trust, love, and unity already established. Maddy brings such amazing energy, defensive knowledge, and a fierce competitive mindset. Kelsea is a compassionate coach who leads with her heart. She assists as a defensive coordinator and works with our goalies. I have so much gratitude and pride that Villanova lacrosse truly has two of the best coaches leading our program!”

Both Donnelly and Lesher join the Wildcat coaching staff after previously serving as assistant coaches under Batcheller, at Drexel University and Bryant University. In their third season together at Drexel, in 2021, the trio led the Dragons to a regular season championship and the programs first appearances in the CAA Championship and NCAA Tournament.

Donnelly comes to Villanova after specializing in goalkeepers coaching at both previous institutions. While at Drexel, she worked directly with the team 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.

Maddison Lesher

Donnelly is a graduate of Towson University, where she started in goal from 2013-15 and was a two-time All-CAA First Team nominee. She currently plays for the Baltimore Brave of the WPLL.

Lesher has served as the defensive coordinator in her two previous stints as assistant coach under Batcheller. 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.

Lesher graduated from Loyola (Md.) in 2016, where she was named the first ever three-time Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time defensive All-American. Lesher was drafted by the Baltimore Ride in the UWLL in 2016, and currently plays in the WPLL, for the Philadelphia Fire.

The Wildcats look to build off a 2021 season that saw the team go 6-11 overall and 4-6 in conference play.

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