In just four years at the helm of the Bryant women's lacrosse program, head coach Jill Batcheller has turned the Bulldogs into the top program in the Northeast Conference and one of the premier teams in the region.
Batcheller guided her Bulldogs to a third-straight regular-season Northeast Conference title and hosting rights in the conference tournament in 2016. Despite a loss to the two-seeded Wagner College Seahawks in the NEC Championship, 2016 marked the third-consecutive season that Bryant won at least 13 games and six in conference play, as it also marked the third-straight NEC Coach of the Year award for Batcheller.
The Bulldogs led the NEC in assists per game (4.89), points per game (16.28), scoring defense (9.11) and scoring offense (11.39), as they held the 15th best winning percentage in the nation (72.2).
A team comprised of only three seniors, the 2016 Bulldogs had six players with over 25 points, five with over 20 goals and two with over 30. Bryant dominated the yearly awards in the NEC, possessing the NEC Offensive Player of the Year in Nicole Britton, the NEC Rookie of the Year in Jess DeMeo and the NEC Defensive Player of the Year in Molly Martin. The Bulldogs saw seven girls named to all-conference teams.
Following a breakout campaign in 2014, the Bulldogs repeated as both Northeast Conference Regular-Season and Tournament Champions in 2015 after posting a 14-5 record and going 6-1 through league play. In a season that saw Batcheller named the NEC Coach of the Year for the second-consecutive year, Bryant ranked in the top-30 nationally in winning percentage (16th), draw controls (17th), scoring offense (27th), scoring margin (27th), assists per game (28th) and scoring defense (30th) en route to its second NCAA tournament berth in as many tries.
In 2015, Batcheller saw six players named all-conference selections, including NEC Offensive Player of the Year and IWLCA All-Region selection Lauren Descalzo, who finished the year fifth in the nation in goals per game (3.39).
In 2014, just her second season coaching the Black and Gold, Batcheller took her program through a record-setting season. Bryant won a program-record 15 games under Batcheller's direction, cruising through the NEC slate with a perfect 7-0 record to earn the Bulldogs' first regular-season crown and secure hosting rights in the NEC Tournament. The Bulldogs would stay perfect in the league postseason, topping fourth-seeded Central Connecticut and second-seeded Wagner by a combined score of 27-13 to hoist the program's first NEC Tournament trophy and clinch its first appearance in the NCAA tournament at any level.
Batcheller was named the NEC Coach of the Year for her efforts and saw seven players earn all-conference selections, including a trio of first teamers headlined by NEC Offensive Player of the Year Lisa Vendel. The Bulldogs entered the NCAA tournament on a nine-game winning streak despite falling to No. 6/5 Boston College in the first round.
Under Batcheller, the Bulldog offense took off and was ranked 17th in the nation at the conclusion of the 2014 season, averaging 13 goals per game. Bryant led the NEC in points, scoring margin, scoring offense and winning percentage - a statistic in which the Black and Gold finished 10th nationally in 2014 (.789).
The breakout campaign came in just the program's second season of Division I eligibility and just a year after Batcheller guided her Bulldogs all the way to the NEC Championship Game in her first season as a head coach in 2013. After three seasons, she boasts a career record of 39-17 (.696) with a 19-4 mark in NEC play entering the 2016 campaign.
Batcheller joined the Bulldogs in June 2012 after spending the previous three seasons on the staff at nearby Brown University and has been in the Division I collegiate coaching ranks since graduating from Syracuse in 2007.
As the first assistant under Keely McDonald at Brown, Batcheller was involved in all aspects of the program, serving as attack coordinator in her last two seasons, where she developed a Bears' offense that ranked third in the Ivy League in points per game in 2012. In her time at Brown, she also served as the recruiting and travel coordinator, played a major role in practice and game preparation and opponent scouting, and acted as the team's academic supervisor.
In addition to her coaching duties at Brown, in 2009, Batcheller founded the New England United Club Lacrosse program, which has grown to include 120 players, grades 5-11. She continues to serve as program director, where she oversees 10 coaches and an administrative assistant.
Prior to arriving in Providence in August 2009, Batcheller spent the 2008 and 2009 seasons as an assistant at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia. In just two seasons with the Hawks, she helped turn around an underperforming program and transform it into an Atlantic 10 power. In the 2009 campaign, she helped lead St. Joseph's to a 5-2 mark in league play and a 10-8 overall record, as the Hawks set a new program wins record and made their first appearance in the A-10 Championship Game. The Hawks broke every offensive school record that season, including goals, points and shots while ranking fourth in the NCAA in caused turnovers per game and 10th in scoring defense. The Hawks also saw a program-best six all-conference selections.
A 2007 graduate of Syracuse University, Batcheller was a four-year starting midfielder for the Orange. A two-time Second Team All-BIG EAST honoree and three-time BIG EAST Academic All-Star, she became just the eighth player in school history to reach 100-career points as she led her team in the inaugural BIG EAST Championship in 2007 as well as a pair of NCAA tournament appearances in 2005 and 2007.
The recipient of Syracuse University Athletics' Enthusiasm Award and Doris Soliday Award for academic and athletic accomplishment, community service and leadership as a senior, Batcheller earned her Bachelor of Science in Sport Management in 2007. She went on to receive her Master of Business Administration from St. Joseph's in 2009.