We are pleased to announce the winners of One Love's YRL Unsung Hero Award, which recognizes six accomplished student-athletes (DI, DII, and DIII men and women) who demonstrate dedication, integrity, humility, hard work, community service, leadership, kindness and sportsmanship -all qualities that Yeardley Love exemplified throughout her life. These student-athletes make a significant contribution to the team in ways that may not be measured in goals, saves or ground balls.
2019 Yeardley Reynolds Love Unsung Hero Award Winners:
Julia O'Mara – Senior, 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.
Brian Tevlin – Sophomore, Yale University
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.
Katie Kerner – Senior, 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.
Bryan Karn – Senior, 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.
David Sheehan – Senior, Lasell College
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 – Junior, Pitzer College
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.
ABOUT ONE LOVE
One Love was founded in honor of Yeardley Love, a 22-year-old college student who was killed by her ex-boyfriend. After her death, the family started the One Love Foundation to educate young people about the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships. For more information, visit joinonelove.org
Congratulations to these amazing student-athletes!