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 2018 Unsung Heroes!
Senior Erika Mazer of Lafayette College turned a career-ending injury into an opportunity to lead as she was elected as a student assistant coach her senior year for her “team first” mentality and dedication to the success of each player. Her tenacity and belief that leadership comes in all shapes and forms is revealed in her ability to deeply connect with her teammates and inspire them to own their personal leadership styles for the betterment of the team. Respected and looked up to by all, she is a reminder that leadership extends beyond the confines of the field. A Plantation Acres, Florida native, Mazer plans to continue to serve in whatever capacity she can.
Senior Matt Behrens of Georgetown has used his platform as a student-athlete to address social justice and racial/gender norms issues on campus and beyond. His teammates commend his vocal, selfless and inclusive leadership style as he orchestrated programs and initiatives to all Georgetown student-athletes that address gender and health in sports. A native of Bronxville, NY, Behrens is heading to law school post-grad in hopes of using his time and talent to address social justice issues across America.
Shannon Mazza of Florida Southern College is dedicated to giving back in all aspects of her life. Coach Kara Reber calls her “the essence of a team player who celebrates her team’s accomplishments far more than her own.” On the field, Shannon is an attacker and the one her teammates can see hustling on every possession. Off the field, Shannon has galvanized her team to get involved with Tim Tebow’s Night to Shine event, and to volunteer at the Children’s Cancer Center. Shannon is working to become a pediatric nurse, a profession in which her compassion, uplifting spirit and work ethic will serve her patients well. Shannon hails from King’s Park, NY.
Senior Devan Martinez of Chestnut Hill College extends his leadership mentality into every facet of campus. From Senior Class President to Campus Ministry, Freshmen Orientation and the local hospital, there are few places where Martinez’s presence is lacking. Though his involvement outside of lacrosse is extensive, that is only supplemental to leading his teammates. Martinez embodies the pay-it-forward leadership philosophy, as he tirelessly dedicates his time and effort to mentoring the underclassmen. When not on the field or campus, he logs hours in the local hospital, extending his team-mentality work ethic into the healthcare field. A native of Vestal, NY, Martinez plans to continue to work in local hospitals as he hopes to pursue a career as a Physician’s Assistant.
Senior Katherine Lambert of the University of Mary Washington was elected captain by her teammates for her “can do” / “will do” attitude and truly exemplifies what it means to lead by example. With sporadic playing time throughout her career, she has proven that leadership extends past goals and groundballs. While keeping up demanding athletic and academic schedule, she remained active in the local community initiatives such as Lloyd Moss Free Clinic which provides free dental care to community members. Lambert will continue to pursue her passion of Dentistry as she is set to start Dental School in fall.
Senior John Hunger of Hope College went from walk-on to senior captain during his time as a student-athlete. His “team-before-self” mentality and belief that leadership extends past playing time has earned him the utmost respect from his peers and coaching staff. These attributes have spread into other aspects of his life as he is involved in several community service initiatives such as ITS ON US. A native of Cleveland, OH, he plans to continue to pursue a career as a CPA.