SAINT LEO, Fla. – Marisa Souchak, a junior defender on the Saint Leo women’s lacrosse team, was honored as one of three Division II finalists for the 2021 Yeardley Reynolds Love (YRL) Unsung Hero award. The elite award is given by the One Love Foundation and recognizes the accomplishments of men’s and women’s collegiate lacrosse players from Divisions I, II, and III who demonstrate dedication, integrity, humility, hard work, community service, leadership, kindness, and sportsmanship – all qualities Yeardley Love exemplified throughout her life.
The YRL Unsung Hero committee, made up of 12 individuals, honored Souchak after fourth-year head coach Caitlin Hansen nominated the Sarasota, Fla. native. Hansen opened her letter to the award committee stating, “Marisa Souchak is a two-year captain of the Saint Leo women’s lacrosse team and is only a junior. From the minute Marisa stepped foot on campus she has led by example and been a voice of reason on and off the field. I am impressed with how often I hear older players seek her out for advice on how to handle a situation and the younger players follow her lead without question. The team has put their faith and trust in her, and in many ways, I have too. We praise Marisa but we do not sing her praises, and for that, I think she is a deserving nominee for the Yeardley Reynolds Love Unsung Hero Award.”
Souchak is no stranger around campus. She keeps busy as an involved student-athlete beyond her duties as the Lions’ captain. She also serves as the women’s lacrosse program’s representative on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), where she also serves as the Treasurer. She was inducted into the International Honor Society in Education as a Kappa Delta Pi Member, is a three-time Dean’s list member, and two-time Saint Leo President’s Club Member, which honors the top 15-percent of academic success among the school’s student-athletes.
On the field, Souchak has helped the Saint Leo women’s lacrosse program make history. She, along with her teammates, have compiled a 22-11 record (.667) since the 2019 season. Souchak opened her career in the Green and Gold during the last full season before the COVID-19 pandemic. During her rookie season, she helped the Green and Gold go on a historic 13-0 opening start, setting the team’s best season start. The thrilling season overhauled the program’s record book with new career, season, and single-game performances. The three-year starter has caused 32 turnovers, picked up 42 ground balls, and won a draw control in 33 games of action.
The award committee will continue to narrow down the field to select six YRL Unsung Hero Award winners, one from each division from both men and women’s programs. Every finalist will be interviewed by the committee with hopes to announce winners by mid-May.
For more information about the YRL Unsung Hero Award and the One Love organization, visit https://www.joinonelove.org/unsung-hero-awards/.
2021 YRL Unsung Hero Finalists
Women’s Division I
Alexis Bell – United States Naval Academy ’22
Colleen Huffman – Yale University ’21
Lila Nazarian – Syracuse University ’21
Molly Hagan – University of Notre Dame ’21
Molly Little – University of Denver ’21
Men’s Division I
JJ Alicia – Bucknell University ’21
Kyle Anderson – Harvard University ’21
Peter Jones – Fairfield University ’21
Robbie Seeley – Saint Joseph University ’23
Sean Coughlin – High Point University ’21
Women’s Division II
Chelsea Allie – East Stroudsburg University ’22
Edie Webb – Lenoir-Rhyne University ’21
Marisa Souchak – Saint Leo University ’22
Men’s Division II
Ben Jackson – Lynn University Grad Student
Bryan Wright – University of Tampa ’21
John Ehlers – Adelphi University ’22
Women’s Division III
Amelia Lubrano – Colby College ’21
Carli Heimann – Ursinus College ’21
Kaleigh Kotula – John Carroll University ’21
Krista Kirk – Earlham College ’21
Maddy Noble – Marymount University ’22
Men’s Division III
Darragh Fahey – University of Massachusetts, Boston ’22
Eric Pence – Massachusetts Institute of Technology ’21
John Funk – Eastern Connecticut State University ’21
Thomas Brackett – Christopher Newport University ’21
Weston Dunkel – Hampden-Sydney College ’21