Both the UVA men’s and women’s lacrosse teams have won the first round of the NCAA championship. The men’s team won Saturday evening in an 18-4 win over Mt. St. Marys. The women’s team just won a narrow 14-12 victory over Towson State. Yeardly’s mother and sister were present at the game and her mother was awarded the winning ball from the game.
Both games started with a tribute and moment of silence to Yeardly. Her number, #1 was worn on the uniforms. The teams have begun to heal. The Love family was asked about continuing the season after the tragic death of their daughter. They encouraged them to not only play but play to win–to win for Yeardly.
According to yesterday’s NYdaily.news:
“A lot of mixed emotions,” Clausen said. “The field’s provided a sanctuary. I wanted to soak it all in one last time.”
An hour later, the public address announcer requested a moment of silence for the “tragic loss” of Love, and Clausen remained still. The words “One Love” were written in orange script on the back of the players’ navy blue warm-up shirts, and black patches with Love’s initials and jersey number dotted the front of their white game uniforms. Clausen, a defenseman, wore her initials on his eye black. He embraced teammates with hugs.
The pall that has hung over the program since former midfielder George Huguely was charged with first-degree murder for his alleged attack on Love, a member of the women’s lacrosse team, 12 days ago lifted for one night. By vanquishing No. 16 Mount St. Mary’s, 18-4, Virginia (15-1) coasted to next Sunday’s quarterfinals at Stony Brook.
“You witnessed a team that was happy to be on the field again,” said Virginia coach Dom Starsia.
Supportive messages were scrawled on signs and enmeshed in shirts with the words “One Team. One Heart. One Love.” Two teammates wore orange ribbons in their hair and one had the No. 1 etched on her white wristband. Eleven men’s team members, led by senior tri-captain Mikey Thompson, marched up the stands as the game started.
The same faces that followed Love’s family to the funeral last week reunited for the games. Love’s mother, Sharon Donnelly, arrived in the bleachers five minutes before the game, with her oldest daughter, Lexie, by her side. The two wore bright pink outfits and dark sunglasses. Next to them, university president John Casteen III sat among the team’s families.