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Delaware’s Zaugra (Shawnee), Temple’s Mercer (Washington Twp.) are ‘One Love Foundation’ finalists for ‘YRL’ Unsung Hero Award

Monday, 13th May 2013

Categories College, Girl's/Women's, Posted 5/13/13
From Press Release

The One Love Foundation in honor of Yeardley Reynolds Love, today announced its finalists for the 2013 Yeardley Reynolds Love (“YRL”) Unsung Hero Award. Established in 2011, the YRL Unsung Hero Award celebrates the selfless acts of initiative and commitment performed by Division I lacrosse players.

These outstanding student-athletes are recognized based on the following criteria: dedication, integrity, humility, hard work, community service, leadership, kindness and sportsmanship. The award winners (one female, one male) will be announced in late-May, leading up to the culmination of the NCAA lacrosse season.

Formerly given to lacrosse players in the ACC Conference, the award became open to all Division I programs this year. The award recognizes accomplishments of student-athletes who help their team achieve success in ways that may not be measured in goals, saves or ground balls. The honor is meaningful because it places value on characteristics that are often undervalued in the competitively charged environment of college athletics.

“We would like to thank every lacrosse program that submitted a nomination,” said Sharon Robinson, a member of the YRL Unsung Hero Award selection committee. “We were so impressed with the student-athletes that were nominated and wish we could reward them all.

“It is so reassuring to see how these future leaders are contributing to their communities in a positive manner. Our goal is to continue growing this award as well as its prestige in college athletics, so we can celebrate the good in college athletics and continue to honor Yeardley’s legacy.”

Five women and five men have been selected as finalists for the 2013 YRL Unsung Hero Award. These finalists will be represented on the award’s website,, and in the June issue of Inside Lacrosse magazine, the award’s media partner.
Women’s Finalists

Jackie Mercer
School: Temple University

Year: Senior
Position: Midfield/Attack
Hometown: Sewell, N.J. (Washington Township)
Jackie is described as a player filled with passion for lacrosse, for teammates, for play, and for life. Temple Lacrosse partners with the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, which has given Jackie the opportunity to form relationships with critically-ill children and their families. She often leads the way in organizing Alex’s Lemonade Stands, play dates, cards, phone calls and more to their adoptees. After suffering two season ending knee injuries in her junior and senior year, Jackie continues to be a huge contributor on the field for Temple, and has also inspired her teammates to be the best they can be from the sideline.

Ellen Shaffrey
School: The College of William & Mary
Year: Sophomore
Position: Attack
Hometown: Charlottesville, Va.
Ellen dedicates her life to making a difference on and off of the field by her relentless hard work. A 4.0 student at William & Mary, Ellen is known for being a well rounded student-athlete. Outside of lacrosse, Ellen volunteers her time at the University of Virginia conducting research and working on analyzing data to improve clinical care of patients post surgery. She is pursuing an opportunity next semester to work at a health clinic to get an up-close and personal experience with medicine and patients. Ellen is a leader not only by example, but with her words of encouragement and competitiveness. In the game of lacrosse, she is always striving for excellence by training outside of practice to work on her stick skills, shooting, body language and vocal strengths as a leader.

Molly Shawhan
School: University of Notre Dame
Year: Junior
Position: Defense
Hometown: Fulton, Md.
Molly’s community service extends far and wide from South Bend, to Philadelphia, Baltimore and Uganda. She spent two weeks in the summer of 2012 in Uganda teaching lacrosse to young women in order to help instill values of confidence and independence. While in Uganda, Molly and her fellow student-athletes also helped build a school and assist the people living there in everyday life. During her time in South Bend, Molly is a part of the Student-Athlete Advisory Counsel (SAAC) where she has assisted in a variety of service projects including the Irish Experience League, Pediatric Christmas Party and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation fundraising walk. Molly played in all 16 regular season games for the Irish this season and has been a solid contributor throughout her playing career.

Zoe Skinner
School: University of North Carolina
Year: Junior
Position: Defense
Hometown: Baltimore, Md.
Zoe leads many community service projects and pushes her teammates behind-the-scenes. Last summer, she spent time in Vietnam with the Atlantic Coast Conference Student-Athletes Coach for College Teacher program, teaching English and coaching volleyball to 5th grade children in Southern Vietnam, an experience she calls one of the most enriching of her lifetime. Skinner is also the women’s lacrosse liaison with Carolina Athletics Outreach in which she coordinates the team’s volunteer efforts with UNC Hospitals, Murdoch Development Center, New Hope Elementary School, Share Your Christmas Foundation and UNCLaxForKellie. She does the same on the field, tirelessly working behind-the-scenes to improve her teammates in practice.

Alex Zaugra
School: University of Delaware

Year: Sophomore
Position: Goalkeeper
Hometown: Medford Lakes, N.J. (Shawnee)
Alex has played a tremendous role in reconnecting alumni with the Delaware Lacrosse family, first as a mentee in their mentoring program, and next as the leader for the program’s Love the Game Around the World project. Last year as a freshman, Alex worked with her former mentor, now alumni, to launch an idea that turned into action by the current Alumni Board. Alex rallied her teammates around the service efforts of an alumni who is currently serving the mission efforts of the Musana orphanage in Uganda, Africa. Delaware now provides shelter, meals, educational opportunities and care for two orphans and helping to spread the game of lacrosse worldwide.


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