Lauren Bickford Wentworth enters her sixth season as head coach of the Transylvania women’s lacrosse team for the 2020 campaign.
During her tenure as the head coach of Transylvania, the Pioneers women’s lacrosse team has solidified a winning tradition by producing All-Region talent and traversing into the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.
Wentworth has overseen the ascent of a program that powers into the 2020 season coming off of consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in the seven-year history of the program.
Arriving at Transylvania in 2015, Wentworth has elevated the Pioneers to continual incremental postseason success. In each of her first five seasons, the Pioneers reached Ohio River Lacrosse Conference and Heartland Collegiate Lacrosse Conference postseason play, breaking through to the NCAA Tournament in 2018 by winning the ORLC regular-season and tournament crowns. Wentworth followed up on that inaugural achievement by guiding the Pioneers into the NCAA Tournament yet again in 2019.
In the 2019 season, Wentworth led the Pioneers to a 15-5 overall season and a 6-0 showing in the HCLC regular-season slate, the second straight year that the Pioneers ran the table through conference play. Under Wentworth, the Pioneers scored 15 or more goals in a game 13 times last season, punctuated by a 25-0 win over Mount St. Joseph in the HCLC Tournament Semifinal and a dominant 20-0 win over Hanover in the HCLC Tournament Championship match.
Wentworth steered the Pioneers to one of the standard-setting teams in the country during the 2019 season: the Pioneers ranked eighth in the country in offense at 17 goals per contest, seventh in defense at 5.9 goals allowed per contest and sixth in the nation in points per contest with 25.9 points. Wentworth developed the Pioneers into a balanced and efficient machine with two players, sophomore Courtney Pontious and junior Harper Zeitz, each earning IWLCA honors. Both players were the first in program history to earn All-Region awards. Zeitz went on to be named the HCLC Defensive Player of the Year while Wentworth was named the conference’s coach of the year for the second straight season.
Eight players in total earned All-HCLC team honors at season’s end: seniors Emma Oliver and Bailee Stevens, juniors Brianna McCulley and Zeitz, and sophomores Salem Carlow and Pontious were all selected to the All-HCLC First Team in 2019. Oliver, McCulley, and senior goalie Mackenzie Dent all earned IWLCA Academic Honor Roll awards for the 2019 season.
From 2016 through 2018, the Pioneers women’s lacrosse program set new records for wins in a season. Under Wentworth’s direction, the Pioneers enjoyed their greatest season by win total in 2018, reeling off a program-record 16-game win streak and winning their first-ever ORLC regular season and tournament championships by going 11-0 in regular-season conference play and defeating Washington and Jefferson, 21-2 in the tournament title game. By winning the conference tournament, the Pioneers clinched an NCAA Tournament berth for the first time ever, advancing to the second round.
The 2018 season contained a collection of team and individual triumphs; Wentworth was named the 2018 ORLC Coach of the Year for women’s lacrosse while junior Emma Oliver and freshman Shelby Wuest were each selected to the IWLCA All-Region Second Team, both becoming the first players in program history to earn All-Region honors. Wuest was also named the ORLC Freshman of the Year in 2018. The women’s lacrosse team’s success was also noticed internally as Transy women’s lacrosse was named the Transylvania Athletics Team of the Year for the 2017-2018 calendar.
In the 2017 season, the Pioneers put together a 14-3 overall record, along with an 8-1 record in the ORLC for their second straight top-two finish in conference. The 14 wins marked the second consecutive season in which the Pioneers set a new program standard for total wins. In the process, the Pioneers netted three players onto the All-ORLC First Team as attacker Julia Ward, midfielder Emma Oliver, and goalie Mackenzie Dent were all chosen.
In all, seven players were recipients of All-ORLC honors in the 2017 season.
The 2017 season was one marked by offensive proficiency as the Pioneers led the ORLC in total goals (280) and goals per game (16.47).
Under Wentworth, Transylvania forged a 13-4 run through in 2016, culminating in another advancement to the ORLC semis. In 2016, the Pioneers improved from a fourth-place finish to a second-place finish, marking the Pioneers’ highest finish in ORLC regular season play.
During 2016, Wentworth oversaw the emergence of ORLC Player of the Year and two-time ORLC First Team All-Conference player Rachel Harrison, two-time ORLC First Team All-Conference player Julie Ward, and ORLC Second Team All-Conference and Newcomer of the Year player Emma Oliver.
In her first season at Transylvania, Wentworth guided the Pioneers to a 6-3 record in ORLC play as Transy clinched its first postseason berth in program history.
Prior to joining Transylvania, Wentworth spent four years as the head women’s lacrosse and tennis coach at Thomas College, an NCAA Division III institution located in Waterville, Maine. During her time with Thomas College, Wentworth led the Terriers to back-to-back North Atlantic Conference lacrosse championship appearances in 2013 and 2014. In 2013 she was named NAC Coach of the Year after leading her lacrosse team to an 11-5 record and going 5-1 in conference play. In 2012 she was named NAC Coach of the Year after leading her tennis team to its first postseason berth in program history.
Both her lacrosse and tennis programs were recognized by the school as elite academic teams on campus, winning the President’s Council Academic Challenge in 2011 and 2012. She served as the women’s lacrosse representative for the NAC in the spring of 2013 and worked with the NCAA Regional Advisory Committee from 2012 until 2014.
Prior to her coaching career, Wentworth was a successful player at New England College and received her bachelor of arts in May 2010 with a double major in sport and recreation management and in business administration. Twice she was named to the Commonwealth Coast Conference All-Academic team (2008, 2009). She was named a captain for her senior season in 2010. While working as a coach, she also earned her MBA from Thomas College in May 2013.
In addition to her coaching duties at Transylvania, Wentworth is the representative for the Heartland Collegiate Lacrosse Conference and also serves as a mentor for both the HCAC and the IWLCA.