William Smith College senior defender Mekayla Montgomery was named one of five women’s Division III finalists for the Yeardley Reynolds Love Unsung Hero Award.
The “YRL” Unsung Hero 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 kindness and generosity, characteristics that are often undervalued in the competitively charged environment of college lacrosse. The award recognizes the athlete who makes a significant contribution to the team while also bringing joy to teammates. The award recipients exhibit leadership as a positive role model and are involved in community service. The recipients are awarded a sum of money from the One Love Foundation to be given to their favorite charity.
A psychology major, Montogomery is a Blackwell Scholar and a Dean’s List student. The two-time Liberty League All-Academic selection is a co-president of HWS’ One Love Club. Along with Meg Quint, Montgomery helped organize the Colleges’ virtual Yards for Yeardley event which ran April 3 – May 3. Originally Quint and Montgomery challenged students, faculty, staff, alums and family to log 2.5 million yards on behalf of HWS. The Colleges achieved that goal within 5 days so the co-presidents upped the number to 25 million yards. By the end of the month, the Colleges had logged 31,444,855 yards.
Montgomery was presented the Madeline Buckley ’15 Award this year. The award is given annually to a student-athlete who best displays character, teamwork and citizenship. The recipient espouses the standards and values of William Smith Athletics and demonstrates a commitment to service and community engagement.
On the field, Montgomery is a three-time All-America selection. She was named to the Inside Lacrosse Women’s All-American first team this season. A team captain, Montgomery started all five games this spring. She led the team with 19 draw controls, had 15 ground balls and eight caused turnovers. Montgomery won a season-high 10 draws in the Herons’ 18-3 win over Oswego. She scooped up seven ground balls in the season opener against Geneseo and caused a season-high three turnovers in the finale against Dickinson.
Montgomery was named a second team IWLCA All-American as a junior and was a third team selection as a sophomore. A transfer from Gettysburg, she played in just 44 games for the Herons. She holds the William Smith game, season and career records for draw controls. Montgomery won 179 career draws despite playing 19 fewer games than the previous record holder, Lucy Johnson ’12. She won 93 draws in 2019, shattering Johnson’s record of 72 from the 2012 season. Montgomery won 11 draws in a victory at Vassar last year. Her 10 wins against the Lakers this season are second on the single-game list.
Montgomery and the Herons were 3-2 this season with wins over Oswego, Nazareth and Dickinson.
Cam Stone ’14 of the Hobart lacrosse team was a finalist for the “YRL” Unsung Hero Award in 2014.
Founded in 2010, the foundation honors the late Yeardley Love. A senior on the University of Virginia lacrosse team, Yeardley was beaten to death by her ex-boyfriend. Her mother, Sharon, and sister, Lexie, started the foundation to honor her memory and to help others avoid their devastating loss.