Stony Brook and Hofstra are friendly opponents again

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After a three-year absence, the intercollegiate athletic rivalry between Hofstra and Stony Brook resumed Thursday as the Pride's softball team visited University Field. The schools likely will schedule each other in most sports.

Stony Brook won, 3-2, when Shayla Giosia's line drive off the glove of third baseman Kim Smith with two outs in the seventh inning drove in Nicole Schieferstein with the winning run.

"We should be playing Hofstra and they should be playing us,'' Stony Brook coach Megan Bryant said. "I'm glad we renewed the rivalry and we look forward to great games in the future.''

Alexandra Pisciotta of New Hyde Park had three hits for Stony Brook (17-14). Hofstra (20-9) leads the all-time series 12-3.

The two schools hadn't played in any sport since April 14, 2011, when Stony Brook defeated Hofstra in men's and women's tennis. But the rivalry between Nassau and Suffolk County's only Division I teams, which are less than 40 miles apart, ended after that -- until Thursday.

"It was the people with the suits and ties rather than the people with the sweatsuits,'' Hofstra coach Bill Edwards said. "It was obviously an administrative decision. Megan and I had played every year forever,'' the last being 2009.

A person familiar with the situation said administrative differences and scheduling philosophies put the rivalry on hold.

Late last year, Hofstra athletic director Jeff Hathaway and Donna Woodruff, who was named Stony Brook's interim AD in November, discussed resuming competition.

"We had a good conversation about it,'' Woodruff said, "and we both from that point forward went to our coaches and said, 'If you are interested in our institutions playing each other, feel free to start scheduling.'

"We both believe that logistically, financially and competively, it makes sense if it can work in schedules for our two programs to be competing against each other.''

Hathaway added, "This is about two schools that have competed, should compete and are going to compete. It's in the best interests of the two schools, college athletics and our fans on Long Island.''

Softball is just the beginning. "We look forward to playing them in all sports,'' Hathaway said.

Stony Brook men's basketball coach Steve Pikiell said he is working with Hofstra to set a date for next season. "I think it's good for Long Island. I think it's good for Long Island basketball especially,'' Pikiell said. "And not just basketball. I think it's good for both schools' athletic departments. Not just for us. For your softball team to drive down the street and not have to go to Bucknell is a good thing.''

Edwards agreed, saying, "Any time you don't have to go over a bridge and play softball, it's great. You don't get caught in traffic. You get back at a reasonable time.''

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