Researchers say that the volatile relationship between Love and Huguely was exacerbated by alcohol. Huguely had as many as 20 drinks on May 2, 2010, a day that concluded with his kicking in Love's bedroom door. She was found dead early the next morning, face down in a blood-soaked pillow on her bed.
Daniel Webster, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and co-director of the Center for Gun Policy and Research, said a study he co-authored of abusive relationships that turn fatal shows that perpetrators were often problem drinkers and hyper-jealous.
David Jernigan, an associate professor at the school of public health, said heavy drinking is often viewed as normal for college students. But its toll is steep — every year, U.S. officials estimate alcohol is involved in 696,000 cases of a college student assaulting another.
"There are so many incidents every year on college campuses that fall short of the Huguely incident and yet come close," said Jernigan, the director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth.
"I think it's a mistake to try and point the finger at any single element of this. At every level of the community there are things we should be doing," Jernigan said. "Unfortunately, awful things like this keep happening on college campuses year after year. There is clearly a need for greater leadership."
Love's death has prompted the world of lacrosse, which has battled its image as a sport of hard-partying elites, to look inward as well. Lacrosse coaches at schools like Johns Hopkins and Loyola have said that, they spoke to their players about issues such as drinking, dating and watching out for teammates.
Love's family has also sought to make positive changes in her name, in lacrosse and elsewhere. Family members started the One Love Foundation — playing on her uniform number — to raise money for causes they believe she would have supported, from helping seniors to developing sportsmanship. It has been flooded with hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from friends and strangers alike.
Donations helped build a turf field at her high school, Notre Dame Preparatory School, and also went toward a bronze statue of Love at Meadowood Park in Baltimore County. A ceremony to bless the new three-sport field is scheduled for the fall, with construction set to start in May, said Cami Colarossi, director of communications at Notre Dame.
The school's headmistress, Sister Patricia McCarron, asked for prayer over the morning announcements the day after the verdict was reached last week, and emailed parents, asking them to continue to pray as well.
"She will always be one of 'our girls,' and though we will never fill the void left by her death," McCarron wrote, "we pray that those whose lives have been immeasurably altered may find peace."