By Pat Mariboe
Elm Staff Writer
On May 3, 2010, the lacrosse community was shocked when University of Virginia women’s lacrosse player Yeardley Love was found unresponsive in her apartment. She was only 22 and about to finish up her senior year when she died. After months of investigation, police had reported that Love’s ex-boyfriend George Huguely forced his way into Love’s apartment by kicking down the door, and then began to shake her forcefully and repeatedly hit her head against the wall. This was not the first time that Huguely had shown signs of violence in the past, as sources close to Love reported that Huguely had assaulted Love on at least one other occasion.
“The story of Yeardley connects incredibly close to our team because of her age and her association with lacrosse,” said sophomore Katherine Vincent. “She was an extremely inspiring girl whose life was cut way too short. Nobody should ever lose their life as young as Yeardley did.”
A few months after her death, Love’s mother Sharon organized the “One Love Foundation” to raise awareness about domestic violence and relationship abuse. Since the foundation started up in 2010, women’s lacrosse programs such as UVA and Boston College pledged to run one million yards during their preseasons to honor and bring awareness to Yeardley Love. This year, junior Rachel Kurtz organized the Shorewomen to take part in the run, and the women’s lacrosse team surpassed the 1,000,000 yard goal with a total of 1,178,517 yards.
“We were initially inspired to participate in this event because Yeardley was a college student just like us,” sophomore Allison Dudley said. “Any way we could help spread awareness and support this awesome cause we were interested in.”
Since the One Love Foundation started, millions of people and multiple teams from all around the country have been involved in the event and commemoration of Love.
“The Every Yard for Yeardley program was started to help spread awareness for relationship violence and celebrate Yeardley Love’s life,” said Kurtz. “This Spring will mark the five year anniversary of her death, so this is a way for teams to show support for the One Love Foundation and help support victims. Yards for Yeardley was created so that we could raise awareness and educate all people about relationship violence. The end goal being to shatter the silence so that we can all be one for change.”
For more information on Yeardley and her foundation, visit http://www.joinonelove.org.