"I just can't believe anybody still thinks anything bad happened," Fogarty said.
Her husband owns a Chevrolet dealership, and they are raffling a fully loaded sport utility vehicle to help the three families with legal expenses. She considers such loyalty the Duke way.
Duke's lacrosse parents greeted each other like old friends yesterday. They have bonded via phone and e-mail over a harrowing year of trying to defend their sons' reputations. The first game brought jubilation but also sympathy for the Seligmann, Finnerty and Evans families.
"It's important that everyone know we are very, very sad that Reade and Collin and Dave are not here to be a part of coming back," said Ed Douglas' mother, Cornie.
"It's bittersweet," said Maureen Mayer of Great Falls, Va., whose son, Kevin, is a junior on the team. "We're sad for the three families that are still suffering, but we're so happy that the boys can get back on the field and do what they love."
Duke first-year head coach John Danowski, Matt's father, met with the parents before the game. He talked lacrosse, explaining that his team would try to push tempo against Dartmouth's ball-control offense. But he also told them that the families of the charged players were with them in spirit. He plans to hold similar meetings before every game, symbols of his belief that the program is a family.
"He's very attuned to the special needs of this program and this team," Mayer said.
Students also shared strong feelings about the past year.
Freshman Hannah Owen wore a Duke lacrosse T-shirt with the words "witch hunt" across the front. She was a high school senior looking forward to matriculating when the controversy erupted last year.
"Everyone gave me a hard time, but from the beginning, I didn't want to judge them," she said.
Owen quickly bought one of the "Innocent!" bracelets, which also had the numbers of the charged players. She has worn it ever since. She hoped yesterday's game would be the last burst of hysteria around the program.
"It is just a lacrosse game, and I know they want to be able to play it as just a lacrosse game," she said.
"I think most students think it's ridiculous that it's been dragged on for so long," said Owen's friend, Hannah Craddock. "We want Duke lacrosse to go back to being about lacrosse. We're tired of hearing about everything else."