New York, NY (May 24, 2021) — The One Love Foundation, dedicated to improving the relationship health of future generations, announced today the six winners of the Yeardley Reynolds Love (YRL) Unsung Hero Award, celebrating the accomplishments of collegiate Divisions I, II, and III lacrosse players who demonstrate dedication, integrity, humility, hard work, community service, leadership, kindness, and sportsmanship.
“Beyond being incredible student-athletes, these six are extraordinary individuals who are committed to helping their communities,” said Sharon Robinson, One Love Chair, Yeardley’s cousin and head of the YRL Unsung Hero Award Committee. “We celebrate each to honor Yeardley’s beautiful spirit and the game she dearly loved.”
The YRL Unsung Hero Award was created in 2011 in honor of Yeardley Reynolds Love, a Division I lacrosse player at the University of Virginia, who was tragically killed by her ex-boyfriend just three weeks shy of her graduation in 2010. The One Love Foundation was founded in her honor to educate young people on the importance of healthy relationships.
“This award, as well as the One Love Foundation, has a special place in my heart and always will because of Yeardley,” said Steele Stanwick of the One Love YRL Unsung Hero Committee. “I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the committee and meeting the outstanding candidates.”
Kyle Harrison of the Premier Lacrosse League said, “It was an honor to have the opportunity to sit on the YRL Unsung Hero Award Committee and interview a lot of the nominees. What impressed me the most about each of the student-athletes was their commitment to their communities and giving back, and their ability to overcome adversity. What an incredible group it was!”
The One Love Foundation and the YRL Unsung Hero Award Committee congratulate winners of this year’s Yeardley Reynolds Love Unsung Hero Award. Along with a silver bowl to commemorate this award, each winner will select a charity to receive a donation in their name.
Women’s Division I: Lila Nazarian, Syracuse University, Graduate
Syracuse graduate student Lila Nazarian (Baltimore, Md.) has helped the Orange to a No. 3 national ranking this year, but her mark on the program goes far beyond her on-field successes. A leader on Syracuse’s campus and within the greater community, Nazarian played a key role in creating a field day for the Syracuse area Boys and Girls Club in addition to collecting thousands of toiletries for a drive, in partnership with Enactus. As a board member for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Nazarian was elected by her peers to lead the group’s civic engagement and created a leadership development workshop for 100 freshman student-athletes. After sustaining an ACL tear her freshman year, Nazarian battled her way back to earn a starting position for the No. 1-ranked defense nationally in 2020; but her impact as a supportive teammate and leader is perhaps where her influence has been felt most. An avid supporter of the One Love Foundation and its mission, social justice reforms, and more—Lila has led the Syracuse women’s lacrosse team through discussions and exercises to bring awareness to countless issues. Head Coach Gary Gait said, “We’re so proud of Lila. She’s done so much for our team, the Athletics Department, Syracuse University and the community. We know she’s going to continue to make an impact on the world and we’re happy that she’s part of the Orange family.”
Men’s Division I: Kyle Anderson, Harvard University, Graduate
Hailing from Downington, PA and Malvern Prep, Kyle Anderson is an attackman from Harvard University who served as the only three-time captain in Harvard’s 140-year history of men’s lacrosse. He is a consummate leader on and off the field. Despite overcoming multiple cancer episodes and treatments, multiple knee surgeries & ACLs, he remained one of the most consistent scorers in Harvard history. But it is off the field where his legacy was cemented. His tireless efforts with Harlem Lacrosse alongside our partners and student-athletes at The McKay School, Yards for Yeardley and TEAM IMPACT inspired our program to even higher levels of service engagement. Kyle’s story, combined with his optimistic outlook and can-do mindset, energized the Harvard program to see that they too can overcome injuries and hardships and persevere as athletes. He further inspired their team to know that everyone can “do something” to positively impact someone else to make their day, life and outlook brighter. According to Coach Byrne, “Kyle encompasses everything you want in a son, teammate, player, leader, and citizen. He sees others and helps, invests time, listens, gives the best part of himself and sees others who are struggling and asks how can I help? His selflessness is boundless and his time at Harvard will be remembered for many goals and great plays but his true impact will be in how he quietly served his communities, modeled perfectly what true commitment to a team and to others looks like and how you do not let obstacles or life’s challenges derail your path forward.”
Women’s Division II: Marisa Souchak, Saint Leo University, Jr.
Marisa Souchak is a junior defender at Saint Leo University. She is a two-year captain who leads by example and hopes to pursue a career in education. Coach Caitlin Hansen says Marisa, “represents our program well and does so with humility.” When faced with COVID restrictions and limitations this year, Marisa organized a virtual town hall for her community, encouraging all to act responsibly and help each other and their school community. Hansen noted, “Marisa is without question our team’s unsung hero and leader. She is about to enter her third year as a captain, and all of her teammates will agree that Marisa has helped lay the groundwork for our on- and off-field successes since the day she arrived at Saint Leo. She keeps us all accountable and is an amazing player, student and person. I am so proud of Marisa and grateful that the One Love YRL Committee has chosen to recognize her this year.”
Men’s Division II: Ben Jackson, Lynn University, Sr.
Lauded for his kindness and humility, Lynn University’s Ben Jackson is a special teammate who brings positivity and optimism to every facet of campus. A One Love facilitator as a freshman and sophomore, Jackson also served three years as a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) team rep and leader, while also leading an American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) fundraiser in Fall 2020 to raise over $2,000. In 2020, Ben also helped launch The REAL Project (in memory of his friend, Ethan LoCigno) to perform acts of kindness and spread mental health awareness. A true ‘unsung hero’ on his Lynn University team, Jackson began his career as a role player—constantly pushing and challenging his teammates in practice to ready them for gameday. Over the course of his career, Jackson remained dedicated to elevating his level of play to help his team in every and any way that he could. “He is that senior who steps up leading with a strong heart and selfless attitude,” his coach, Brian Kingsbury, wrote in his YRL Unsung Hero nomination. This spring, Jackson recorded his first career goal at the collegiate level. Kingsley continued, “Ben is one of the kindest men I have ever coached. He is the definition of what an unsung hero is, as he has the courage to do the right thing. Ben operates on the core values of Spirit, Service, Strength at Lynn University as he has been able to share his humility, empathy, and honesty with the Fighting Knights community.”
Women’s Division III: Amelia Lubrano, Colby College, Sr.
Amelia Lubrano, a senior midfielder at Colby College, has made quite an impact on her community both on and off the lacrosse field. The youngest of three girls, Amelia took what she learned from her older sisters and translated that “sisterhood” by showing up for her teammates with kindness, positivity and support every single day. Additionally, she faced the hardships of COVID-19 head on by organizing a virtual road race called #Sweat2Support and raised nearly $28,000 for the Center for Disaster Philanthropy COVID-19 Relief Fund. Her coach describes her by saying, “Amelia is not the loudest player on the field, nor is she the biggest, but what she lacks in size she makes up for with heart.”
Men’s Division III: Thomas Brackett, Christopher Newport University, Sr.
Thomas Brackett, a senior goalie at Christopher Newport University, is described by Coach Mikey Thompson as “the most important person on our team, even as a non-starter.” His selflessness is shown through his membership in the ROTC program at CNU and his commitment to serve in the United States Army as an officer after graduation. He lives by three principles: hard work, honesty, and positivity, both on and off the lacrosse field. Thomas is very involved as an active member of the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and is a major advocate for mental health awareness. Whether it’s for his team, community or country, Thomas puts the needs of others first and his attitude is contagious to all those lucky enough to be around him. Thompson said, “Thomas graduated from CNU and our men’s lacrosse team as one of our all-time great teammates. He holds his teammates to the highest standard and always does it in a positive way. His energy is infectious and he is an absolute joy to be around, just as Yeardley was. Just last week he was honored at the CNU ROTC Commissioning Ceremony and he is off to do huge things!”
ABOUT ONE LOVE
The One Love Foundation is dedicated to improving the relationship health of future generations. The non-profit organization has educated more than 1.45 million young people through educational workshops, both in-person and online, by teaching them the signs of unhealthy and healthy relationship behaviors. One Love was founded in honor of Yeardley Love, a 22-year-old college student whose life was tragically cut short when she was killed by her ex-boyfriend. Her family learned during the trial that her death could have been prevented had they recognized the signs of an abusive relationship. For more information, visit joinonelove.org