It was more than just another home game for the University of Virginia's women's lacrosse team. On Sunday, they retired the number Yeardley Love wore before she was killed last Spring, and they celebrated who she was as a player and a person.
It was an emotional day for the team and the fans that came out this afternoon. Everything from an L on the team's uniforms, to a stadium flag was dedicated to Yeardley Love. And as an ultimate tribute to the athlete, no other women's lacrosse player will ever wear that number.
Before they took on Penn State, the Lady Cavs took time to honor their teammate and friend Yeardley Love, it's been 10 months since the UVA lacrosse star was found dead in her Charlottesville apartment. Her boyfriend, former men's lacrosse player George Huguely, is charged with her murder.
Bill Benner, the father of one of Love's teammates said on Sunday, "Yeardley never goes away. I mean, her smile, her eyes, her spirit."
"We keep Yeardley in our hearts and on our minds and the Love family certainly right there with her," added the Women's Lacrosse Coach Julie Myers.
The jersey Love wore on this field was handed over to her family and the #1, was permanently retired from the game.
"It definitely got to our heart, which was the point of it but all in all, we were happy to have that celebration done so well and to have the love family with us," said Myers.
Now a flag flies high above Klockner Stadium to remind future Hoos that take the field, that win or lose, rain or shine, they will always have a little bit of Love by their side.
"It was uplifting," said Sophomore Goalie Kim Kolarik, "like honoring Yeards in that way was just great. To have that flag flying over every game will be great too. Just like looking up there and knowing she's there with us helping us all.
Some fans who came out to the game today drove hours for the ceremony and had nothing but good things to say about Love and her legacy on and off of the field. The retired uniform will not be kept on grounds. That now belongs to Love's family.