Lacrosse: One team, one heart: Virginia women win in return
HANK KURZ Jr.
AP Sports Writer
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — With memories of its slain teammate everywhere, the Virginia women's lacrosse team played for the first time since the death of Yeardley Love.
The Cavaliers rallied in the last four minutes to beat Towson 14-12 Sunday and reach the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament.
Love's battered body was found May 3, and Virginia men's lacrosse player George Huguely is charged with murder.
The Virginia women's players wore shirts under their jerseys with the phrase "One Team. One Heart. One Love." The team also had black patches on the front of their jerseys with the word "LOVE" in white letters. Towson wore orange wristbands with "Y.L." in dark blue.
As was the case with the men's game Saturday night, both teams observed a moment of silence before the game. When the game ended, fans chanted "UVA UVA" and clapped in unison as the players huddled. In the background, Cher's one-time hit "Believe" played. The song features the lyrics "Do you believe in life after love?"
The emotionally charged game at Klockner Stadium ended with a gritty victory by Virginia. Goals by Brittany Kalkstein and Caity Whiteley made it 13-11 lead with 3:54 to play, and the Cavaliers (14-5) held on to advance to the next round
The Cavaliers started with three quick goals. Towson pulled ahead 5-4 before Virginia scored the next three goals. The Tigers tied it at 10 and 11, but never regained the lead.
Whiteley, Charlie Finnigan and Julie Gardner each scored three times for Virginia. Towson was backed by four goals from Jacie Kendall and three from Hillary Fratzke and Nikki Marcinik.
The Cavaliers were missing three starters because of torn knee ligaments. Coach Julie Myers has said that the longer the team can keep playing and stay together, the more the players can comfort each other. Men's coach Dom Starsia said the same Saturday night after his team advanced.
In the crowd, fans unfurled a banner that said "1-2-3-4, together, Hoos," a reminder of how Love once botched the team's huddle-breaking cheers by counting to four instead of the usual three. Myers said at Love's funeral her team will, forever more, also count to four.