Both Hofstra and Stony Brook University have breathed the familiar Long Island air, but the saying, “familiarity breeds contempt” couldn’t ring truer when the Pride and the Seawolves took the field and fought fiercely to a 2-1 double overtime finish in favor of Hofstra on Sunday, Sept. 8 at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. Stony Brook fell to 4-2 on the season.
“Hofstra did what they always do. They are very well organized,” Stony Brook head coach Tobias Bischof said in an interview with The Statesman. “It was a tough opponent. They are one of the best teams in our region. We kept it together for most of the game, but unfortunately, in overtime they put one in on us. I think we did a good job this afternoon but we ran into a team that was better than us.” Bischof seemed satisfied with his team’s effort and play, but emphasized that he felt they came up just short of claiming a win versus Hofstra.
The familiarity of both of these teams goes beyond just location. It is not a secret that Bischof coached at Hofstra for eight years, helping them get to the NCAA Tournament four times. That did not seem to influence a Hofstra team that had 10 shots on goal and dominated offensively in the second half after a quiet first half. The scoring featured early goals from Hofstra sophomore midfielder Lucy Porter in the seventh minute and Stony Brook junior forward Alyssa Francese in the 14th minute. Stony Brook held on by a thread only due to junior goalkeeper Sofia Manner, although even she could not hold off a 103rd minute goal in overtime that would seal their loss.
Stony Brook may have hoped to end Hofstra’s 10-game winning streak within the rivalry, looking to have an advantage with Bischof on its side now. However, that proved untrue and they will have to wait until their next bout to end Hofstra’s local domination in the series.
“Sophie’s big time for us, we call her the ‘big fin.’ She makes saves that other goalies maybe can’t make, she keeps it together for us in the back and organizes well. She has a bright future in front of her, but for right now for us she’s unbelievable,” Bischof said. Manner had six saves on 17 total shots but allowed two goals, including the winning one for Hofstra. The America East’s reigning Goalkeeper of the Year was placed in a bad spot throughout the game and played well considering the circumstances regarding the offensive pressure Hofstra applied. Many goalkeepers can be easily blamed for losses, but she did her job well and simply caught a bad break at the end of the game.
“No, it’s another game for me,” Bischof said when asked if the rivalry played into his preparation. “It’s a 90-minute game. It’s them against us. All of the other stuff surrounding the game, I’m not interested in. I’m interested in my team, how we compete, how we perform on the field. I think we did a good job today, but unfortunately, we found a team better than us.” Bischof did not seem to be distracted at all by the sight of his former team in Hofstra and was locked into a game that almost lasted a full 110 minutes.
Next up for the Seawolves is a trip to Morgantown, West Virginia for a matchup with the 23rd ranked West Virginia Mountaineers on Thursday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m.