MEDFORD – Senior Maddy Schwartz of the Tufts University women's lacrosse team has been selected as a finalist for the 2019 One Love Foundation YRL Unsung Hero Award.
The Yeardley Reynolds Love ("YRL") Unsung Hero Award is presented by the One Love Foundation, which educates young people about the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships and empowers the next generation to love better and put a stop to relationship abuse. The annual award recognizes the accomplishments of six student-athletes who help their teams achieve success in ways that may not be measured in goals, saves or ground balls. This honor places value on characteristics that are often undervalued in the competitively-charged environment of college lacrosse. It salutes the athlete who makes a significant contribution to the team, brings joy to teammates, exhibits leadership as a positive role model and is also involved in community service.
There will be six One Love's YRL Unsung Hero Award winners, one from each division (DI, DII, and DIII men and women). The winners will received a Tiffany bowl and a $250 donation to the charity of their choice. The recipients will be named in late May after phone interviews between the selection committee and the finalists are completed.
Joining Schwartz as 2019 Women's Division III YRL Unsung Hero finalists are junior Sonia Olson from Pomona-Pitzer, senior Abigail Smith from York College, senior Madison Heher from Denison University and senior Olivia Steiner from Colorado College.
Schwartz is the Tufts team's liaison for their community service initiatives and the lead contact for the Jumbos' Team IMPACT teammate (Grace Zinck) with whom she has organized numerous events to support, cultivate and build that relationship. In October 2017, Schwartz and a few of her teammates spearheaded participation by many Tufts student-athletes in the Mass General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center's Amazing Race. The team brought together members of the Tufts community to participate in a 5K and together they raised nearly $7,500. Similarl during that late fall, the Jumbo team hosted the first Spike-ball Tournament for the MGH Cancer Center, led again by Schwartz and a few classmates. For the past two years, Schwartz has helped lead the charge on the team's efforts in a swim-a-thon hosted by the Jumbo swimming team which benefits hurricane victims in Puerto Rico.
"Maddy does this all while juggling a pre-med course load and double majoring in biology and community health," head coach Courtney Shute said. "She does every one of these activities out of the goodness of her heart, never looking for praise and always in the spirit of giving back through her selflessness and dedication to improving the human condition."
On the field, Schwartz has started 53 games in her career including all 48 since her sophomore season. She is a key member of a Jumbo defense that is allowing just eight goals per game this spring. The team is currently ranked fifth nationally with a 15-1 record.
Schwartz was awarded the team's Allan H. Clemow Award in 2018, given to the player who combines a high level of performance on the field with excellence in academics while always exhibiting the most important trait of the Tufts scholar-athlete: teamwork. The award is voted on by her teammates.
"She is a leader by example, a glowing example of kindness and inclusiveness, a sportswoman on the field while maintaining her fierce competitive edge, and a woman of integrity whom her teammates admire, trust, and respect greatly," Coach Shute said.