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Fans excited as Irish become bowl eligible

Katie Kotorak | Monday, November 17, 2008

After two straight losses, Notre Dame fans got a much-needed win when the Irish downed Navy 27-21 in front of over 70,000 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md., Saturday.

Senior Lauren Desrosiers made the 11-hour drive to Baltimore with some friends for the game. Desrosiers described the atmosphere in the stadium as “electric” and had fun cheering on the Irish.

“It was really exciting. We were in the highest row in the end zone and later when some people left because of the rain, we moved down to be closer to the field,” Desrosiers said. “We sat with some band members who led us in cheers and we even made it onto the Jumbotron,” she said.

Desrosiers, whose father served in the Navy until she was 17, admired the respect both teams and their fans expressed for each other.

“At the end of the game, it was silent when both teams stood for each other’s alma mater. The mutual respect between Notre Dame and Navy is really impressive,” Desrosiers said.

Saint Mary’s senior and Notre Dame cheerleader, Jenny Antonelli traveled to Baltimore with the squad to cheer on the Irish. Antonelli was also impressed with Navy’s friendly fans and agrees that “respect” was an important element in Saturday’s matchup.

“[Navy] fans are so friendly and respectful and you could tell they really wanted a win,” Antonelli said. “[Notre Dame] luckily pulled through, but Navy had their hearts in it until the end and didn’t give up; they’re tough boys,” she said.

Desrosiers was happy with how Notre Dame played, although she did admit to being a little nervous when Navy started to come back.

“It could have gone downhill, but the offense decided to show leadership and get the job done,” she said. “But for a second, it was a little nerve-wracking,” Desrosiers said.

Saint Mary’s senior Katie Danko watched the game on TV. Danko was also nervous during the fourth quarter.

“Overall, I have to say, [Notre Dame] kind of gave me a heart attack in the last 20 minutes of the game,” said Danko.

Sophomores Matt DeStefani and Ty DeBoer watched the game from their dorm room and were dissatisfied with the close win.

“It was an ugly way to win. At least we didn’t lose, but we barely got by,” DeStefani said.

DeBoer thought things started off really well and was happy with how the team played, but be blamed the tight score on the coaching.

“The first half looked great, we shut down [Navy’s] rushing offense,” DeBoer said. “The second half should have made a statement, instead [coach] Charlie [Weis] put in the second string … Overall I was pretty disgusted to be honest. It is just another example of terrible coaching.”