NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame Head Women's Lacrosse Coach Christine Halfpenny
announced the addition of Lauren Benner to the staff as an associate coach. Benner comes to the Irish after spending the 2022 year at Loyola.
“It’s with great excitement that we introduce our new Defensive Coordinator in Lauren Benner,” said Halfpenny. “During the search process it quickly became evident that Coach Benner was an excellent fit for Notre Dame. Her values and philosophy align with our mission and she’s driven to be the best in all that she does.
“She brings ACC Championship experience as a player, and has been part of ‘historic firsts’ everywhere she’s coached. We look forward to the immediate positive impact Benner will make on our aggressive defense along with our goalie unit.”
Benner made an immediate impact at Loyola, helping the Greyhounds finish with a school-record in wins and a 20-2 overall record, a sixth Patriot League Championship and their first trip to the NCAA quarterfinals since 2015.
With Benner on staff the Loyola defense was among the nation’s elite, ranking third in the country in scoring defense (8.05 goals allowed per game). Greyhound goalie Kaitlyn Larsson ranked third in the country in goals allowed per game with an average of 8.25 per contest.
Prior to spending the 2022 season at Loyola, Benner was the head coach and goalie director at 3d Lacrosse Colorado in Denver. Benner was responsible for developing and implementing college-level training and prep for nationally ranked goalies.
She also served as the head lacrosse coach at Valor Christian High School from 2017-20, where she was named the CHSAA State Coach of the Year in 2019 after leading Valor to a school record for most wins in a season, the school’s first-ever League Championship and a state semifinal appearance.
Benner began her coaching career at the University of Denver, where she served as an assistant coach for the 2012-15 seasons. She helped the Pioneers to four-straight winning seasons, their first MPSF Conference Championship in 2013 – a feat in which Denver repeated in 2014 – the program’s first automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and a No. 16 final ranking in the 2013 IWLCA Coaches Poll.
Under her guidance, Denver’s goalkeeper ranked first nationally in saves in 2013, third in save percentage in 2013 and 2014 and was a Top-25 Tewaaraton Award Semifinalist in 2014.
Following her time at Denver, Benner joined the Louisville staff as an assistant coach for the 2016 season. There, she helped the Cardinal to the program’s highest-ever national ranking (5th) and she helped coach a Top-25 Tewaaraton Award Semifinalist, an All-American and three Regional All-Americans.
As a player, Benner was a goalkeeper at the University of Virginia from 2007-10. She helped the Cavaliers to a pair of Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, four-straight NCAA Tournaments and an appearance in championship weekend. She was named to the IWLCA All-South Region Team in 2010 and earned VaSID All-State Team honors that same year. Due to redshirting her sophomore season, Benner was able to play her fifth year at the University of Denver, where she obtained her master’s degree in strategic communications. She also graduated from Virginia in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in religious studies/media studies.
Post-collegiately, Benner played for Team STX, where she helped to expand the reach of women’s lacrosse nationally and internationally while representing the brand and products globally.
In addition to her playing and coaching experience, Benner is a women’s lacrosse referee and owns Line 39 Lacrosse, a company committed to creating specialized training plans for individuals and groups looking to improve their lacrosse skills.
-Notre Dame Athletics