About the award
The Yeardley Reynolds Love (“YRL”) Unsung Hero Award recognizes the accomplishments of six student-athletes who help their teams achieve success in ways that may not be measured in goals, saves or ground balls. This honor places value on characteristics that are often undervalued in the competitively charged environment of college lacrosse. The Award recognizes the athlete who makes a significant contribution to the team while also bringing joy to teammates. The award recipients exhibit leadership as a positive role model and also are involved in community service. The recipients are awarded a sum of money from the One Love Foundation to be given to their favorite charity.
If you know a student-athlete that is hard-working, humble, honest, kind and enthusiastic, consider nominating now. Nominations are reviewed and selected in the spring.
Congratulations to our 2019 Unsung Heroes!
University of Pennsylvania
After sustaining her fourth concussion her sophomore year, senior Julia O’Mara made the tough decision to medically retire from competitive lacrosse, however, she couldn’t leave her team behind. With her drive to help her teammates however she could, she carved out a new role: organizing additional runs and workouts to help those who were struggling to pass Penn lacrosse’s grueling run tests. Beyond the field, O’Mara has dedicated her limited free time – she is an Engineering student – to mentoring girls from a local West Philadelphia public school in both lacrosse and academic programs. A Maryland native, O’Mara will be working in the Business Technology field for Blackstone in their Innovations group.
Sophomore Brian Tevlin of Yale demonstrated incredible selflessness when, five games into his sophomore season, he received word that he was a match for the Be The Match Foundation, a bone marrow donation registry. Inspired by the story of his friend’s mother, who was saved by a million-to-one donor, he accepted the match and scheduled surgery two weeks later. His decision to ensure another family wouldn’t suffer, in the middle of the season as a starting midfielder on the defending national championship team, is the definition of unsung. Brian has shown himself to be a promising leader as just a sophomore.
Le Moyne College
While Katie Kerner’s impact on the field has been marred by seasons of injuries, culminating in a career-ending ACL surgery last fall, her legacy will be marked by her resilient nature and leadership. Kerner became the lacrosse program’s inaugural Community Service Chair, utilizing their platform to raise awareness for a variety of causes over the 2018-2019 season. She’s set the example for younger players that while the uncertainty that comes with being injured is scary, there are other roles on the team that are just as impactful.
University of Tampa
Bryan Karn of Tampa has shown incredible commitment to leadership and service within both the northeastern Ohio and Tampa communities. After his friend was diagnosed with leukemia in 8th grade, he started raising money for leukemia awareness. He continued this service work by hosting fundraisers for cancer research once he started at the University of Tampa. As a senior goalie who rarely starts, Bryan has taken younger goalies under his wing and, according to his coach, “he is like having a coach in the locker room.“ He has led his team to 3 NCAA tournament appearances and his team-first approach is noted by everyone around him.
During Lasell’s best season yet, coaches remarked how integral David Sheehan’s leadership has been as he “elevated every member of the team, coaching staff included, to a place they never thought they could go.” His efforts, while not always showcased on the stat sheet, inspire each player to give their all. Off the field, he has led the team in their efforts to help raise awareness, educate and train Lasell students on relationship violence prevention tactics including the One Love Foundation.
Sonia Olson, a junior on the Pomona-Pitzer lacrosse team, exemplifies selflessness on and off the field. Sonia has brought college education to women in prison and helped survivors of sex trafficking, all while being a constant source of positive leadership for her team. Midway through this spring season, Sonia was diagnosed with cancer. She credits her strength through this process with her many years of lacrosse. Today, she is supporting her team from afar while going through chemotherapy and, according to her coach, she is telling her teammates to play harder, honor the game, and reminding them that they should feel lucky to still be able to play the sport of lacrosse.
Congratulations to all our 2018 winners
Florida Southern College
Chestnut Hill College
University of Mary Washington