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Soaked students celebrate close win

Brian Metz | Sunday, October 4, 2009

Despite Saturday’s freezing rain, the student section was loud and many people stayed for the entire game as the Irish defeated the Washington Huskies 37-30 in overtime.

“The rain is an unfortunate part of the sport. But it makes the games a lot more exciting, and adds a degree of uncertainty,” graduate student Nil Valls said.

However, some students, especially freshmen, weren’t ready for the cold.

“I wasn’t prepared for that – I wore a T-shirt,” freshman Kevin Soriano said. “By the fourth quarter I was so cold and soaked.”

However, students agreed that braving the cold was well worth the experience.

“I was so impressed with the dedication of our fans; they were rewarded with another exciting win,” freshman Lauren Jacobi said.

Soriano said the dramatic wins that have become the Irish’s calling card this season might be even harder to stomach than the weather.

“It’s so emotionally taxing,” Soriano said. “We need to win earlier.”

Throughout much of the contest, the Irish offense was only effective between the twenties, as Notre Dame was forced to settle for field goals early and often. Freshman kicker Nick Tausch put the ball through the uprights five times, three of which came on the team’s first three possessions. The Irish, however, heated up when they needed to, as quarterback Jimmy Clausen put the ball in the end zone with 1:20 left in the fourth quarter. Clausen, still battling injury, passed for over 400 yards and two scores.

“Jimmy Clausen is a Heisman candidate,” Soriano said.

Freshman Tim Konicek said the running game was even more vital to the win yesterday.

“It’s so important to have an effective running game, especially in that kind of weather. Robert Hughes played great,” he said.

Konicek said the defense could have played better, but he was also impressed by the dominating play of the defensive line when it mattered most.

“For the most part, our defense let Washington have its way, but we played so tough with our backs to the goal line,” he said.

Ultimately, Valls said the hard-fought win was much more rewarding than a blowout.

“Those are the best kind of wins,” he said.