Lacrosse Fans Remember Yeardley

Posted: Updated: May 16, 2010 11:20 PM EDT

Sunday's win over Towson University in the first round of the NCAA tournament was bittersweet for University of Virginia players and fans as they remembered a star athlete and young lady who should have been playing beside them.

Fans and players from both teams say the game was played in honor of Yeardley Love and the legacy she left behind; both on and off the field. Flowers lay at the entrance to Klockner Stadium Sunday afternoon, a quiet tribute to a beloved student athlete.

"We're thinking of them, and our hearts are with them," said lacrosse fan June Dunn.

Fans from both teams wore ribbons in remembrance of Yeardley Love and parents from Towson collected money to donate to the scholarship fund in Love's honor.

"The loss of her is just making it, as a parent, it's just the worst thing you could ever imagine," Dunn said. "And our hearts go out to the Love family."

It has been nearly two weeks since Love's death shook the lacrosse nation and UVA fans say tragedy sometimes has a way of bringing people together.

"There are tons of people that are coming to a UVA women's game who haven't been to a women's game ever," said game attendee and fan Lori Brannock. "It's great that the support is pouring out. Men, women, children and teams are coming together to come support the women Cavaliers."

The game began with a moment of silence for Love as her family looked on from the stands. UVA players wore shirts under their jerseys with the phrase "One Team - One Heart - One Love."

"I wanted to play especially well to honor her," said UVA player Caity Whiteley. "And her family was there, so it meant a lot."

As the team and its fans move forward, they will carry with them the memory of one life, one Love taken too soon.

"We're never going to forget Yeardley, and I feel her presence on the field when we play together," said player Brittany Kalkstein. "It's something and someone that we're never, ever going to forget."

Reported by Kasey Hott
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