Nov 24, 2014, 9:55 AM EDT
The 2014 home football schedule came to a close this weekend, as Notre Dame met Louisville on Senior Day at Notre Dame Stadium. Thanks to their years together in the BIG EAST Conference (and now the Atlantic Coast Conference), the Irish and Cardinals have a well-established rivalry in a number of sports, but Saturday marked the first time the teams had met on the gridiron.
It was a tough way to go out for the senior class, as Louisville held on for a 31-28 victory.
Nevertheless, the Monogram Club enjoyed wrapping up another great fall with a number of festivities throughout the weekend.
Here’s a closer look in the Monogram Club Musings!
Louisville Game Notes
Prior to kickoff, Notre Dame recognized 29 seniors. While some of these student-athletes will return for a fifth year in 2015, for many of them, Saturday marked their final time in uniform at Notre Dame Stadium.
1956 Heisman Trophy winner and Louisville native Paul Hornung (’57) took part in the pre-game coin toss.
After the first quarter, Notre Dame honored Matt Besler (’09, soccer) on the field. It has been quite a year for the former All-American and Academic All-American. Last December, he helped lead Sporting Kansas City to an MLS Cup title, and this past summer, Besler played a key role as a starter for the United States men’s national team at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Besler is the first Notre Dame men’s soccer player to ever suit up for the USMNT during World Cup competition. He was joined on the field by associate athletics director and men’s soccer administrator Beth Hunter (who also formerly served as Monogram Club Executive Director).
Besler noted that it was his first visit to Notre Dame in three years, and he took some time to soak in the campus throughout the weekend. His recognition also coincided with the men’s soccer team’s NCAA tournament game against Ohio State, a hard-fought 2-1 victory on an incredibly rainy Sunday night. Besler’s younger brother, Nick, is a senior midfielder for the defending champions.
Besler also visited the Fighting Irish Digital Media studios for a great sit-down interview where he spoke about his time with USMNT, Sporting KC and his career at Notre Dame. Look for footage from that conversation in future content from FIDM.
Though it’s not Monogram Club related, we captured a couple great shots of the Notre Dame Band’s halftime performance.
As always, 2010 honorary Monogram recipient Sgt. Tim McCarthy delivered a signature traffic safety pun at the end of the third quarter:
Monogram Club Events
Over 280 football Monogram members and their guests stopped by the Schivarelli Football Players’ Lounge at Notre Dame Stadium for one final Friday reception in 2014. As always, guests enjoyed the opportunity to visit the locker room and see the famous “Play Like A Champion Today” sign.
The Monogram Club also hosted its pre-game reception on Saturday in the Monogram Room. Executive Director Brant Ust (’00, baseball) and volleyball coach Debbie Brown, a 1999 honorary recipient spoke to members and guests in attendance. Now in her 24th season at Notre Dame, Brown spoke about how humbled she was to receive an honorary Monogram and represent the Club, as well as the many ways the Monogram Club has impacted her program. From the team hosting program to the Fourth Quarter Farewell, the Monogram Club has played an integral role in the Notre Dame experience of her student-athletes, both past and present.
As usual, the Club concluded the weekend with post-game Mass in the Monogram Room celebrated by team chaplain Rev. Mark Thesing, C.S.C. (’81, ’85, ’92).
The Irish will head west during this busy travel week, looking to close out the season with a victory over rival USC.
Have a great Thanksgiving and Go Irish!
Make sure to follow @NDMonogram on Twitter for all the updates throughout the year.