Zeitz named HCLC Defensive Player of the Year, Bickford selected as HCLC Coach of the Year to lead Transylvania WLAX conference awardees

Zeitz named HCLC Defensive Player of the Year, Bickford selected as HCLC Coach of the Year to lead Transylvania WLAX conference awardees

Lexington, Ky. - Transylvania women's lacrosse junior defender Harper Zeitz has been selected as the Hartland Collegiate Lacrosse Conference Defensive Player of the Year and head coach Lauren Wentworth has been named the HCLC Coach of the Year, the conference announced Thursday.

The pair of awards leads a lengthy list of conference postseason award-winners for the Transylvania women's lacrosse team in 2019.

Zeitz, a junior from Louisville, Kentucky (Eastern HS), anchored a Transylvania defense that dominated HCLC competition throughout the season. 

Harper defense graphic

Wentworth directed her team towards its goal of postseason success in 2019. The Pioneers compiled an overall record of 15-4 this year, including a mark of 6-0 in HCLC play. Under the guidance of Wentworth, the Pioneers captured their second straight conference tournament championship, sending the Pioneers to the NCAA tournament for the second time in program history. Wentworth claimed her second-consecutive Coach of the Year award and her second overall during her tenure at Transylvania.  

Coach of the Year

Along with Zeitz, senior attack Emma Oliver (Louisville, Ky. / Ballard HS), junior attack Brianna McCulley (Milford, Ohio / Milford Sr. HS), sophomore midfielder Courtney Pontious (Caledonia, Mich. / Caledonia HS), senior defender Bailee Stevens (Cloverdale, Ind. / Cloverdale HS), and sophomore midfielder Salem Carlow (West Chester, Pa. / Unionville HS) were each named All-HCAC First Team selections for the 2019 season.

Additionally, sophomore defender Hannah Maroni (Bainbridge Island, Wash. / Bainbridge HS) was named to the All-ORLC Second Team, and sophomore midfielder Olivia Livingston (Huber Heights, Ohio / Chaminade Julienne HS) was named to the HCLC All-Sportsmanship Team.

Zeitz led the HCLC with 30 caused turnovers on the year. The junior also ranked top-five in the conference with 60 ground balls and 65 draw controls. Zeitz and the Pioneers posted a stifling 5.21 goals-against average on the season and held conference foes to just two goals per game in those six contests.

Oliver was one of the Pioneers' most versatile weapons on the field this season. The senior ranked in the top-six in the HCLC in points with 74, draw controls with 56, ground balls with 52, and assists with 35. Oliver's most prolific performance came in Transylvania's 25-9 victory over Hendrix on March 10 as the senior tallied eight points (five goals, three assists), eight draw controls, three ground balls, and a caused turnover.

McCulley ranked second on the Pioneers and fourth in the conference with 50 goals on the season. The junior supplied 21 assists, 45 ground balls, and 19 caused turnovers. In the Pioneers' 21-4 victory over Hanover on April 10, McCulley posted a season-high seven points, comprising four goals and three assists.

Pontious instantly became a transformative presence in her first year with the Pioneers. The sophomore led a potent Transylvania offense that averaged 17.6 goals per game this season. Pontious led the HCLC in points with 97 on the year and ranked second in goals with 73. Pontious led the Pioneers with 77 draw controls while tallying 44 ground balls and 24 assists.

Selected to the All-HCAC team at the at-large position, Carlow was an integral part of the Pioneers' attack this season. The sophomore led the HCLC with 38 assists this season and ranked third in points with 83 and fifth in goals with 45 on the year. Carlow also tallied 51 draw controls, scooped 33 ground balls, and caused 11 turnovers.

Stevens ranked fourth on the team with 23 draw controls on the season to go along with 33 ground balls.  The senior also tallied 16 caused turnovers. Stevens turned in a strong performance in the Pioneers' HCLC semifinal victory over Mount St. Joseph which included eight draw controls, three ground balls, two caused turnovers, one goal, and an assist.

After winning the HCLC Tournament championship on Saturday afternoon, Transylvania will now turn its attention to the program's second-straight trip to the NCAA Division III Lacrosse Tournament. The Pioneers will commence NCAA Tournament play when they face the Denison University Big Red on Sunday afternoon, May 12 in Granville, Ohio in the tournament's second round at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

For more on Transylvania women's lacrosse, follow @TransyWLax on Twitter