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Stathopoulos Stands Out in Boston Opener

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Stathopoulos Stands Out in Boston Opener

The Terriers beat Northeastern in season-opener.

With the exit of varsity teams AIC, Army, and Norwich, the DI Northeast conference title is for the taking. Boston University opened with a 40-7 win over Northeastern Saturday, and will be gunning for the automatic bid to playoffs with a differently styled squad.

Despite the seven-try spread, Boston did not dominate the entire match.

“The game tonight was pretty close through the first 30 minutes,” Boston coach Nick Hildebidle confessed. “Northeastern scored first, and honestly were unlucky not to put more points on the board early. They had numbers outside us several times, but couldn't quite get the ball there. We also had a hard time dealing with them in rucks.”

Ellie Williams accounted for Northeastern’s opening try, and Sami Ernst’s conversion made it a 7-0 lead.

“We don't have the size that we've had recently, so we've really been focusing on having players at every position who can catch, pass and run,” Hildebidle explained. “Our focus on spring 7s has really helped us there, and in the last 10 minutes of the first half, our handling and attacking pattern came together.”

Boston University ran in three tries before the break, and that was all the momentum the Terriers needed. Captain Paige Stathopoulos was outstanding on attack, scoring three tries and setting up several more. The No. 8 intensified her summer training alongside the Northeast Academy and Boston Women’s Club, and also attended the National All Star Competition.

Junior prop Abby Yotts showcased her pace with two tries and confirmed that the move from front row to flanker was the right decision. Grace Conley, Julia Gowesky, and Arohi Behri also scored tries.

“Defensively, our scrumhalf and flyhalf led the way,” Hildebidle praised. “Julia Gowesky, a junior and our 10, did a lot of tackling, which helped us contain the Northeastern offense. Kathy Le, a senior, had an outstanding work rate, and helped us stay organized.”

In other conference news, UConn scored all of its points in the first half against Boston College, but it was enough for the 19-0 win. Next weekend, Northeastern will travel to Rhode Island; UConn will host UMass; and Boston College and Boston University will buckle down for the first of their two league games.