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Seniors cheer Irish at final home game

Justin Tardiff | Monday, November 21, 2005

The last Notre Dame home game of the season is often bittersweet, but seniors said Saturday’s unseasonably pleasant weather and Irish victory over Syracuse made the conclusion of the season more bearable.

“I thought [the game] was awesome after the first quarter,” senior Amy Locke said. “The marshmallow fight at halftime was fun … and it was especially fun to stay for the Alma Mater with the team still on the field, raising their helmets.”

Senior Matt Paluch said the last game proved to be a memorable part of his college experience.

“I thought [the game] was a great time, especially since the marshmallow fights got off the ground,” he said. “I thought [the season] has been a huge success, especially since we weren’t expected to be better than .500 … but [Notre Dame] still need[s] a couple of years to develop before they’re a perennial powerhouse.”

Despite being from New York and having several friends who are avid Syracuse fans, senior Laura Heslin always remained a Notre Dame fan.

“I think it’s a great way, as a senior, to go out,” she said. “[Charlie Weis] has done such a great job with the team … and I got to rub [Notre Dame’s victory] in my friends’ faces.”

Junior band member Jonathan Schuster said Saturday’s game did not seem different from the other home games, and that the band put “as much effort into their playing as usual.”

“I think the seniors were sad to see their last home game come to an end,” he said.

Saturday’s game also marked the end of the first home football season for the freshman class.

“There were high expectations for Notre Dame to dominate the game, which is actually not what happened,” freshman Pablo Cruz said.

Cruz said he could overlook Notre Dame’s difficulties early in the game.

“We still won, which is the way it should be,” he said. “[Charlie Weis] wants to start … a legacy. He wants to bring ND back into its prime as a football powerhouse.”

Many seniors said although this is their last football game as Notre Dame students, they will return for future games.

“It’s always sad to know that the Class of 2006 will never be together for a home football game, but it’s comforting that the traditions will continue with classes to come,” Locke said.

Heslin agreed, and said she hopes to continue to take part in Notre Dame traditions – even after she graduates this spring.

“I think it’s surreal, and I still can’t believe it’s the last game,” Heslin said. “At the same time, it’s comforting to know that I’ll be able to come back [for future games] … If it’s feasible, I would like to come back every year. [After graduation], my Notre Dame identity will be an important part of who I am.”