The death of University of Virginia student and lacrosse star Yeardley Love has sent shock waves throughout the entire college community. Teammates, friends, and faculty have expressed sorrow for the loss of a beloved friend whose presence went beyond the field and classroom.
Just weeks away from graduation, Yeardley Love, 22, was preparing for the final weeks of her college career. Exams were looming on the horizon and the women’s lacrosse team at UVA was preparing for a chance to end their season with a national championship.
The young woman from Cockeysville, Md. had always dreamed of playing lacrosse at Virginia, and began her lacrosse career at Notre Dame Preparatory School in Baltimore where she was fondly remembered as an outstanding and wonderful person.
“Yeardley was the core of the personality of the team. She was our laughter, a good soul. She always found an appropriate way to lighten things up,” said Mary Bartel, who coached lacrosse at Notre Dame Prep. “I don’t think there is a soul in this building who couldn’t say her name without smiling. Yeardley loved NDP, and NDP loved her. She was a good soul and an outstanding athlete.”
Love took her amiable personality and athletic ability with her to UVA. She was “described as an angel by teammates and friends,” said UVA athletic director Craig Littlepage.
University president John Casteen said in a statement on the university website that Love “deserved the bright future she earned growing up, studying here, and developing her talents as a lacrosse player. She deserves to be remembered for her human goodness, her capacity for future greatness, …”
Unfortunately, her future greatness will never be known. Early Monday morning, police cars went to Love’s apartment after her roommate called to report a possible alcohol overdose. Love was found dead with apparent physical injuries.
Within hours, police had taken George Huguely, a senior on the Cavaliers men’s lacrosse team, into custody and had charged him with first-degree murder. There are not many details surrounding the death of Love, but police say that the two lacrosse stars had been in a relationship at some point.
On paper, Huguely is a standout, All-American young man. He attended the Landon School in Bethesda, Md. where he played both varsity lacrosse and varsity football, and he was co-captain of the lacrosse team in his senior year, said school spokewoman Jean Erstlin.
Love’s body has been taken to Richmond for an autopsy, and Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said that investigators planned to interview teammates and friends about the nature of the relationship between Love and Huguely.