Despite championship loss, fans still proud of Fighting Irish

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- While they're disappointed in the outcome of the NCAA Women's Championship game, Fighting Irish fans say they're still proud of the team.

The Huskies defeated Notre Dame 79-58 Tuesday night in the first championship game featuring undefeated teams, winning their record ninth national title.

Many Irish fans were cautiously optimistic going into the game, hoping the team could pull out a win, even without senior star Natalie Achonwa on the court.

"Having Achonwa definitely would have helped," said South Bend resident Brandon Rickey. "I'm not sure it would have definitely made the game, but not having her was huge."

Fans packed Brother's bar in South Bend Tuesday night to cheer their team on. While many left feeling frustrated, they say the women had an overall impressive run. At the beginning of the season, some didn't think they'd make it this far in the tournament.

"I think they were able to show the nay sayers that it could still be done and that they're a capable team and a very strong team," said South Bend resident Rudy Monterrosa.

Those who've followed the team's journey over the past four years say their continual success is a testament to their dedication and the talent of their coach.

"I love Muffet McGraw," said South Bend resident Brad Laird. "I love what she's done for the team. I like how the team works together."

Still, some fans say it's hard to watch the Irish fall to UConn once again.

"It's been awesome up until the last game because we never seem to get that last one," said Notre Dame student Chris Lilie. "Especially with all the heartbreaking losses to UConn. The last game we just can't seem to get it done."

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